ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ensuring MSP to Farmers

In the wake of the central government’s minimum support prices hike for kharif 2018–19, the state government in Madhya Pradesh implemented a variant of the deficiency payments system called the Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana for compensating the farmers when market prices fell below MSP. Besides the problems of long delays in payments to farmers, large transaction costs that farmers incurred due to multiple registrations, and the disposal of inferior quality produce by farmers, a major limitation of BBY is that it is a counter-cyclical payment, insulating farmers from the market by ignoring the demand side completely. A differentiated MSP based on quality and dovetailing with electronic National Agriculture Market may help address some of these problems. A carefully designed price deficiency payment system with partial procurement and dovetailing with e-NAM and other ways of ensuring MSP to farmers, such as direct payments and participation of private sector, are also discussed.

Income Mobility among Social Groups

Looking at income mobility across different social groups in India using the India Human Development Survey data from 2004–05 and 2011–12, different notions of mobility are calculated. Average mobility across quintiles is seen to be higher among backward castes. Higher inter-temporal mobility among households belonging to Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes is noticed, while positional movement is similar across different social groups. Per capita absolute income changes are seen to be the highest for forward castes, while per capita directional income changes were highestfor sc households.

Do Producers Gain from Selling Milk?

Primary field-level information collected shows that producing milk for sale is not always profitable and suggests that despite the white revolution, milk production still remains largely a subsistence activity. There are, however, large variations in milk price, animal stock, and profit among regions; urbanisation levels of districts; and main occupations of producers. The results also reveal that the producer’s remuneration varies with the uses of different marketing channels. While informal traders still dominate the market, the sign of entry of private corporate buyers is also clear. The findings raise serious concerns about the commercial prospects of dairy farmers, especially in the eastern region and among the labouring classes and others who practise dairy as a subsidiary economic activity.

Farmers Need More Help to Adapt to Climate Change

This study addresses an issue that has been widely discussed among policymakers—farmers’ perception of climate change and their adaptation to it. Information collected from medium, small and marginal farmers in eastern Uttar Pradesh is compared with climatic and agricultural data. The results reveal that farmers are aware of long-term changes in the weather pattern and change their practices to deal with socio-economic changes. Yet, most of them do not see these changes as constituting what academics refer to as “climate change.”
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