Agriculture Price Policies of the Government


Ajit Kumar AJIT KUMARWISDOM IAS, New Delhi.

1. Minimum support prices
 
A minimum support prices is declared by government, normally at the beginning of sowing season for every important agricultural commodity. These prices are a long term guarantee to farmers that the prices of these products will not be allowed to fall below a certain level. These prices assure the farmers and encourage them to carry on and to expand their production. They put their best efforts to get maximum production. If the prices fall below minimum support prices, government will buy the entire marketable surplus at procurement prices.
 
2. Procurement Prices
 
These are the prices which are declared by government, generally at the time of harvest of crops. These are the prices at which the government buys agricultural products from farmers. These prices serve two important objectives:
(i) To provide guarantee to the farmers that the prices of these products will not be allowed to fall below a certain level. If market prices fall below this level, the farmers can sell their
products to government.
(ii) It enables government to procure these products for maintaining public distribution system and buffer stocks. These prices are announced by government on the recommendations of
Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). These prices are widely used by government for the procurement of wheat and rice. Procurement prices are generally higher than
minimum support prices.
 
3. Issue Prices
 
Issue prices are the prices at which food grains are allocated and supplied by Food Corporation of India (FCI) to the states and union territories. These prices meet the requirements of public distribution system. Prices of goods to be supplied through fair price shops directly depend
upon issue prices. Issue prices are normally less than market prices and higher than procurement prices.
 
4. Retail Prices
 
Public distribution system is carried on through the network of fair price shops (ration shops). These shops supply essential consumer goods to households at the prices fixed by government. These prices are known as retail prices. Retail prices are higher than issue prices so that the expenses of public distribution system may be recovered and the licensees may get a certain margin.
 
5. Buffer Stock Operations
 
Buffer stock operations refer to buying and selling of food stocks by government. These operations serve two important purposes:
 
(i) To regulate and control price fluctuations within a reasonable limit.
(ii) To enable government to procure food stocks so that regular supply of these stocks may be ensured throughout the year as well as throughout the country. These operations are carried on by Food Corporation of India (FCI). Whenever there is a fall in the prices of food stocks, FCI starts buying them at procurement prices and whenever there is a rise in these prices, FCI starts selling. Thus, buffer stock operations play an important role in stabilizing agricultural prices.
 


Friday, 18th Mar 2016, 06:43:43 AM

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