The Indian Cabinet has recently raised the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for rabi crops, marking significant hikes in various categories. Lentil (masur) experienced the highest increase, with MSP set at Rs 425 per quintal, followed by rapeseed & mustard at Rs 200 per quintal. Wheat and safflower MSPs were raised by Rs 150 per quintal each, while barley and gram saw increases of Rs 115 per quintal and Rs 105 per quintal respectively.
India, as the world’s second-largest wheat producer, annually establishes these prices to safeguard domestic farmers from distress sales and maintain grain reserves for emergencies. Additionally, it utilizes these grains to provide affordable food to the underprivileged population.
According to government data, wheat output reached a record 112.74 million metric tons in 2023. However, a prominent trade body disputes this figure, claiming the harvest to be at least 10% lower than the agriculture ministry’s estimate. As of October 1, government warehouses held 24 million metric tons of wheat, significantly lower than the five-year average of 37.6 million tons.