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The Union Cabinet today approved an increase in minimum support prices (MSP) for various kharif crops for marketing season 2021-22.

The Centre has hiked paddy MSP by 72 rupees to 1,940 rupees per quintal for 2021-22 crop year from 1,868 rupees per quintal last year.

The highest absolute increase in MSP over the previous year has been recommended for sesamum at 452 rupees per quintal followed by tur and urad at 300 rupees per quintal each.

In the case of groundnut and nigerseed, there has been an increase of 275 rupees per quintal and 235 rupees per quintal, respectively, in comparison to last year. The differential remuneration is aimed at encouraging crop diversification, the government said in an official statement.

The decision was announced by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Addressing a press briefing on Cabinet decisions, Tomar said, “None should have any misconception about MSP; it’s continuing and increasing and it will continue.”

“We had assured the Parliament that MSP will continue,” the Union Agriculture Minister added.

This decision comes amidst the ongoing protests against the three farm laws. Farmers have demanded that the government bring legislation to guarantee remunerative MSP to all farmers.

MSP is a floor price determined by the Centre for crops aimed to avoid distress sale by signalling a minimum rate for private traders.

The government, through the state-run Food Corporation of India, buys large quantities of cereals from farmers at MSP rates and distributes them to beneficiaries via the public distribution system (PDS).

The government raises minimum support prices of crops twice a year, once ahead of the winter-sown (rabi) season and the second time for the summer-sown (kharif) season.

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