Bengaluru: The latest round of talks between the government of India and the agitating farmers over the new agricultural laws have only ended up inconclusive yet again. 

While the farmers maintain that the laws are draconian and offer the agricultural market on a platter to private players, the government insists and reiterates that these are reforms which even out the playing field. 

Though the impasse continues, it is heartening to note that the government continues to procure cotton and rice from Punjab at the minimum support price. 

Reports say that the Cotton Corporation of India has purchased 85% of kapas (raw cotton) marketed for the month of December in Punjab. An estimated 27.5 lakh quintals of cotton out of 32.50 lakh quintal, marked till December end, was procured by the CCI at the Minimum Support Price (MSP). It must be mentioned that 52.50 lakh quintals of kapas were produced in the State in 2020.

A farmer named Rajvir Singh, as reported by the Indian Express, revealed that the government procured 52 quintals of medium-long staple kapas and paid him the full MSP of ₹5,665 per quintal. He also expressed his happiness at the timely intervention of the government, paying him his dues. 

He further said, “Prices going above the MSP will only benefit farmers with larger holdings. But I don’t mind that. For me, what matters is getting an assured price at the time of bringing my crop to the mandi immediately after harvesting. MSP is necessary for farmers who have no capacity to hold on to their crop and wait for prices to go up. We need money to run our kitchen and sow the next crop,” as quoted by the website. 

While this is how the story goes, reports add that farmers are planning to protest on Republic Day as well.