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Market arrivals

The wholesale price index for the cereal crops has shown an increase of 9.3 percent at 260.6 during 1993-94 as compared to 238.5 during 1992-93. The market arrivals of wheat during the above mentioned period marked an increase of 21.5 percent as compared to rice, which had shown an upward trend by 13.4 percent. However, the market arrivals of Sorghum during 1993-94 registered a fall of 23.9 percent with the volume of arrivals of 3.14 lakh tonnes as against the volume of 4.13 tonnes during 1992-93. Similarly, the market arrival of Maize also decreased by 13.9 percent as compared to the arrivals of 1992-93 in the selected 394 markets in the country. Table I exhibits the status of market arrivals of major foodgrain crops for the above mentioned period.

Table I Market Arrivals of Selected Cereals (Thousand Tonnes)

Crop

No of Markets

1992-93

1993-94

Percent Change

Wheat

515

4230.8

5138.8

21.5

Rice

591

3946.9

4476.1

13.4

Sorghum

524

413.0

314.2

-23.9

Bajra

524

326.2

298.1

-08.6

Maize

394

294.8

253.7

-13.9

Source: Agricultural Situation in India, August 1994

It has been observed that the market arrivals of foodgrains and commercial crops are closely associated with the price structure. It consists of the support price announced by the government and the open market trend. However, as a protection measure the designated agriculture produce like rice, wheat, cotton, jute, coffee, Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco are procured by the respective government agencies under the support price patronage in case of a fall in the open market price. The policy of announcing the support prices for foodgrains and commercial crops on one hand protects the interests of the farmers and on the other, of the consumers by making available the supplies at reasonable prices.Table II exhibits the trend of support prices announced by the government since 1992-93 for different foodgrains and pulses.

The data reveals that there has been a continuous increase in the support price for all the foodcrops and pulses. However, it has been observed that in spite of the increase the farmers are getting marginal profit. The major reason for the low support price structure is that the cost escalations of inputs and infrastructural overheads are not taken into consideration at the current prices of an agricultural season.

Table II Minimum Support Prices for Agricultural Produce (Rs Per 100 Kg)

Commodity

Variety

1992-93

1993-94

1994-95

Foodgrain

       

Paddy

Common

270

310

340

Wheat

FAQ#

275

330

350

Coarse Cereals

FAQ

240

260

280

Maize

FAQ

245

265

290

Gram

FAQ

500

600

640

Red Gram

       

Black Gram

FAQ

640

700

760

Green Gram

       

Oilseed

       

Groundnut

FAQ

750

800

860

Soyabean

Black

475

525

570

Soyabean

Yellow

525

580

650

Sunflower

FAQ

800

850

900

Rapeseed/Mustard

FAQ

670

760

810

Safflower

FAQ

640

720

760

Copra

Milling

2150

2350

# FAQ: Fair Average Quality

Source: Directorate of Economics and Statistics, GOI

There has been a marginal hike of Rs per 30 quintal of paddy in 1994-95 as compared to the support price of 1993-94. However, the cost of production of paddy increased in the same period by Rs 48 on an average1. The increase in the support price for the coarse variety of foodgrain like sorghum, bajra and maize in 1994-95 was Rs 20 against the announced price of previous year. The Statutory Minimum Price (SMP) of sugarcane was also raised by the Government of India from Rs 31 per quintal in 1992-93 to Rs 34.50 for 1993-94 and Rs 37 per quintal for 1994-95 linking to a basis of recovery of 8.5 percent. The Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for oilseed is being fixed by the government on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices. It has been observed that the support prices for various oilseeds varied substantially during 1993-94 as compared to the preceding year. The MSP for oilseeds in 1994-95 increased marginally over the preceding year. However, for copra of milling variety increase of Rs 200 per quintal is observed during 1994-95 over the MSP of 1993-94.