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Centre forms committee to strengthen MSP mechanism

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Centre forms committee to strengthen MSP mechanism

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Nearly eight months after the government repealed the three controversial farm Acts, it has constituted a high-powered panel under the chairmanship of former agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal to make the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism more effective and transparent as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his televised address announcing the repeal.

The names of three members from the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the main grouping that spearheaded the year-long agitation at Delhi’s borders, have been withheld, pending receipt by the government, stated a gazette notification.

The farmer groups, other than SKM, who have been included in the panel include Gunvant Patil, Krishan Bir Singh Choudhury, Pramod Kumar Chaudhary, Gunni Prakash, and Sayyed Pasha Patel.

Patil, Patel, and Bir Singh Choudhury had been supporters of the now-repealed farm Acts and opposed SKM. A few, said sources, are even considered close to the ruling dispensation.

Interestingly, Agarwal, who will chair the panel, was at the helm when the three farm Acts were brought in and was at the forefront of more than 10 rounds of negotiations that the agitating farmers had with the central government during the agitation.

Meanwhile, among other names, representatives of agriculture universities and institutions have also been included in the panel. The joint secretary (crops) in the Ministry of Agriculture will be the member secretary in the panel.

The committee will make suggestions to give greater autonomy to the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices to strengthen the agricultural marketing system, in keeping with the changing requirements of the country.

It will also deal with issues related to natural farming, such as developing strategies for making Krishi Vigyan Kendras and other research and development institutions as knowledge centres on natural farming, developing a chain of laboratories for organic certification of products produced through natural farming.

(With inputs from PTI)

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