Bhubaneswar, Jun 11 (PTI) Dissatisfied with the minimum support price of Rs 1,940 per quintal of paddy, the Odisha government Friday asked the Centre to raise it to Rs 2,930 per quintal which would largely benefit the farmers.

Odishas Agriculture Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo said the Centre has hiked MSP of paddy to Rs 1,940 per quintal for the 2021-22 crop year from Rs 1,868 per quintal last year, and the price of Grade-A variety has been hiked to Rs 1,960.

"It will not help farmers of the state, especially the marginal and small ones," he said.

The ministers reaction came after the Cabinet Committee meeting on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Wednesday approved increase in the MSP for all mandated Kharif crops for the marketing season 2021-22 to ensure remunerative prices for growers.

"Odisha should not be treated like other states as our farmers frequently face natural calamities like cyclone, flood, drought (in some places), and pest attack. Therefore, our state should be treated as a special case," Sahoo told reporters.

Noting that the Central assistance is not adequate for the farmers of Odisha, the minister said the MSP of paddy should be increased to Rs 2,930 per quintal as per the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee.

The state assembly had unanimously adopted resolutions in 2017 and 2018 for enhancing the MSP of paddy to Rs 2,930 per quintal as this would help farmers get 25 per cent profit from their product.

Sahoo claimed that the Odisha government has written several letters to the Union Agriculture Ministry for the past few years for the MSP hike.

"Even today, I have written a letter to the Union Agriculture Minister in this regard," the minister said.

The Centres aim of doubling farmers income by 2022 would not be fulfilled if the MSP is hiked in such a way as was done two days ago, he further said.

Odisha, he said. is the fourth largest rice-producing state in the country.

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