I am a farmer. And I have something to say. Would you care to listen?

Farmers MSP
If the government really cares about us farmers, then it should first give them food security | Image - Eunice Dhivya | All photos by Anoop Jaipurkar

I am a small farmer – small in terms of my landholding – but with a big heart. I produce paddy every year in the kharif season (monsoon crop) and sell the whole produce at a rate decided by the government known as Minimum Support Price (MSP) so that it ends up on your table either as rice or poha.

I don’t arm-twist you into accepting my price, but meekly follow what has been pre-ordained for me. Half of what I “earn” is spent on growing the crop along with my sweat and unflinching determination. No, I don’t keep any of it for my own self; the market forces do not encourage me to do so.

Ironically, I buy polished, ‘tasty’ rice from the grocery shop even though it costs me much more than what it would have had I consumed my own rice. But my family cannot compromise on taste. I am sorry. So the bottom line is that I am also a consumer like you despite being a producer myself. It is like a local halwai (confectioner) going to Haldiram’s to buy sweets for his own home.

The MSP conundrum

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