Odisha exhibits a big procurement paradox. During the last 5-years, the quantity of paddy procurement grew by 1.5 times but the count of farmers who benefitted didn't show that high jump.
As per the data available with Odisha Co-operation Department, the paddy procured in the State during the Kharif Marketing Season of 2020-21 had been 77.38 lakh metric tons (LMT). And the number of farmers who availed MSP and sold their produce at the mandis were at around 13.95 lakh.
Rewind to the year 2015-16, now. Odisha Co-operation department procured paddy weighed at over 50.2LMT. And the number of farmers who had sold their paddy then was 10.78 lakh.
The procurement arithmetic shows when the quantity of paddy procured during the 5-year period increased by over 54 per cent, the count of benefitted farmers was up by a mere 29 percent. In the last 5-years, the State's paddy procurement outreach could reach to only 3.17 lakh more farmers.
Sample The Paradox
Such an ironic trend seems peculiar to Odisha alone. But in a majority of the states, the farmer count who stands benefitted from MSP has nearly doubled during the last five year period.
The neighbouring Chhattisgarh during the last 5-year period has brought a massive 66 percent of its farmers under the MSP fold from over 33 per cent in 2015-16.
In 2020-21 KMS, a massive 20.53 lakh farmers availed the MSP in Chhattisgarh as against 11.10 lakh in 2015-16. The neighbouring State has a farmer population of over 30 lakh.
Similarly, in the southern neighbour of Andhra Pradesh, the paddy farmers availing MSP grew by a whopping 188 percent to over 7.9 lakh in 2020-21from 2.76 lakh in 2015-16.
Another neighbouring state West Bengal, though it fares very dismal in MSP outreach as only 11 per cent of farmers could avail of the MSP, has added over 10 lakh farmers to the MSP fold during the last 5-years. In 2020-21 KMS, over 8.2 lakh farmers benefitted from procurement vis-a-vis 7.21lakh in 2015-16.
Odisha Vs Rabi States
Though Odisha figured among the top-10 rice-producing states in the country, Madhya Pradesh, where wheat is the staple crop, has increased the farmer count availing the paddy MSP to over 5.97 lakh in 2020-21 from 1.99 lakh in 2015-16.
Similarly, the number of paddy farmers availed of MSP benefit this Kharif marketing season in Uttar Pradesh jumped to 10.22 lakh from 4.3 lakh in 2015-16.
In the yardstick of including more farmers in the MSP net, the performance of Telangana has been the best among paddy procuring states. From mere 5.35 lakh farmers selling paddy at MSP in 2015-16, the count did a pole vault to cross the 21 lakh mark in 2020-21.
Significant here is, Odisha is the eighth largest rice-producing State in the country, whereas Telangana is nowhere in the top-10.
In Rabi procuring states, UP has posted a good show as it has brought over 11.5 lakh farmers under MSP in 2021-22 RMS from a mere 1.66lakh in 2016-17.
The procurement performance by MP also seems good as over 17.25 lakh Rabi farmers availed wheat MSP in 2021-22 from a mere 5.3 lakh in 2016-17.
However, in the yardstick of MSP benefit saturation among farmers, Punjab and Haryana lead the table.