KATHMANDU, July 25: Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives has recommended minimum support price of paddy to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies.
The ministry made the recommendation after holding a discussion among stakeholders on Tuesday. It has recommended Rs 2,331.22 per quintal for thick paddy and Rs 2,460.57 per quintal for medium-size paddy.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives has been recommending minimum support price of paddy to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies for the past three fiscal years.
The minimum support price of thick paddy and medium-size paddy recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives is 3.73 percent and 0.90 percent, respectively, higher compared to the last fiscal year.
The ministry had fixed minimum support price of thick paddy at Rs 1,884 per quintal in FY2015/16 and Rs 2,070 per quintal in FY2016/17. Last year, it had fixed minimum support price of thick paddy at Rs 2,247 per quintal.
Agriculture Secretary Yubak Dhoj GC said that the ministry will forward the recommendation of minimum support price to the cabinet after getting go-ahead from the supplies ministry. “We have already forwarded the minimum support price to the supplies ministry. It will then be forwarded to the cabinet after needful evaluation,” he added.
According to GC, the ministry calculated the minimum support price after validating the investment cost, VAT rate, and production in neighboring countries as well as Nepal.
Generally, minimum support price is fixed at the start of the paddy transplantation season so that farmers can decide whether or not to grow paddy passed on the minimum support price. However, the agriculture ministry recommended the minimum support price only after paddy transplantation has been completed on over 75 percent of paddy fields across the country.
In the absence of minimum support price, farmers are often forced to sell paddy to middlemen and traders at low prices. Some farmers even fail to recover their investments.