Kerala became the First State in the Country to fix Minimum Support Price (MSP)/Base Price for 16 Agricultural items which include Vegetables, Fruits and Tubers to support farmers and boost agricultural sector.
On October 21, 2020, Kerala Cabinet cleared the proposal to introduce base prices. The scheme will come into effect from November 1, 2020, which is celebrated as Keralapiravi day (Day commemorated to celebrate the Birth of Kerala as a state on November 1, 1956).
At the national level, MSP is declared for 23 agricultural items (inclusive of Sugarcane, the only crop MSP payment was legally implemented, for which Fair and Remunerative price was determined) primarily for grains, pulses, oilseeds, paddy and Copra.
16 Agriculture items:
Tapioca, Banana/Wayanadan Banana, Pineapple, Ash Gourd, cucumber, Bitter Gourd, Snake Gourd, Tomato, Beans Nadan, Lady’s Finger, Cabbage, Carrot, Potato, Beans, Beetroot, and Garlic.
i.The Base Price will be 20 % above the production cost of vegetables. It will work in the same way as the MSP system.
ii.16 Varieties of vegetables will be covered in the first phase, there is also a provision to revise the MSP price on a regular basis.
iii.Local Self Government bodies (Panchayats) will coordinate the procurement and distribution of vegetables.
iv.The scheme also proposes setting up an entire supply chain process like cold storage facilities and refrigerated vehicles for transporting the produce.
v.To become eligible, farmers have to upload the area of their farmland, data on sowing, expected harvest and harvest time on AIMS (Agricultural Information Management System) web portal of Department of Agriculture Development and Farmer’s Welfare, Kerala.
Procurement and Selling:
i.The crops will be procured from Farmers through VFPCK (Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam) and Horticorp.
ii.All the yields procured under the scheme, will be sold under the brand name “Jeevani-Kerala Farm Fresh Fruits and Vegetables”.
Conditions for Base Price:
i.Farmers will be eligible for base price only for vegetables and fruits grown within a maximum of 15 acres.
ii.The produce will be eligible for base price only if it adheres to quality standards during the procurement stage.
iii.Each vegetable or fruit variety is assigned specific productivity levels, and the base price will be offered only to that quantity that squares with the assigned productivity value.
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