Seeds of Change – Rahul Gandhi’s bold MSP guarantee will bring big changes to the life of small farmers


Indian agriculture is in a crisis. Over 1 lakh farmers have died by suicide under PM Modi’s rule and the average farmer has 60% more in loans, even as the cost of farming has shot up – paddy by 54%, wheat by 42%, chickpea by 52%.

Small farmers are most affected by the crisis. 14.3 crore farm families have less than 1 hectare (4 bighas) of land. 70% of Indian farmers earn less than Rs. 10,000 per month. When market prices fluctuate, small farmers cannot store their crops, transport them elsewhere, or take loans to wait.

This is why every year we see distraught farmers forced to dump their crops by the roadside because they cannot recover even a faction of their production costs; and hear stories of farmers driven to suicide because of small loans they cannot repay. Ensuring a stable and profitable price will help all farmers – especially the most vulnerable farmers.

The MSP guarantee is a bold measure which will benefit Annadatas – especially small farmers, and bring agriculture out of this ongoing crisis.


The 10 lakh crore cost which the government is claiming is a lie – it assumes that the government will first buy every fruit, vegetable, and grain of cereal and pulse and then 

Our legal MSP guarantee will use different methods to ensure that farmers receive MSP, namely: 

    1. Using imports and exports to effectively manage market prices
    2. Strategic Purchase, ie. the Govt will buy just enough crops – e.g. 15% – to raise market prices. Nothing will be wasted – crops will mostly be resold. Some – rice, wheat, etc. will be supplied through the PDS. 
    3. In exceptional cases where farmers have to sell below MSP, the government will make up the difference.

Our scheme coherently brings together tactics which have already been tried by various Governments. Depending on the exact prices, experts have estimated an outlay of between 50,000 crores to 2 lakh crores. This is just 1-4% of the Union budget today. 


All the discussion on handouts to farmers misses two key points – first, that it is the government’s responsibility to invest in the economy, and second – that the government is already investing lakhs of crores – except it is all going to corporates.

The corporate tax rate is lowest since 1947 at 22%, costing the government Rs. 1 lakh crore every year. Rs. 2 lakh crore is handed out under the name of PLI, despite doubts raised by experts like Raghuram Rajan. These ‘investments’ have shown no results – the Finance Minister herself repeatedly pleads with companies to increase investment, even as unemployment runs rampant. 

Surely, if we can give lakhs of crores to benefit corporates, we can easily also support our annadatta to receive fair payment for their hard work in providing sustenance for the country as whole. This will also undoubtedly rejuvenate the rural economy. 


Today, we have a historic opportunity to stand with our farmer brothers and sisters, in the same tradition India has followed since Independence. PM Modi too repeatedly had promised an MSP – as Gujarat CM, as PM, and during the farmers’ protests. He now rejects the needs of farmers as a political and fiscal impossibility – showing that he lacks integrity, ability and empathy.

What’s worse, they favour corporatizing agriculture. A corporatised market will lead to results like in America, where 40 lakh small farms have been swallowed up by corporates over the past fifty years. We want an India where every kisan and their children can earn enough to live a dignified life through farming, not one where they are forced to migrate to cities to look for jobs.

This is a challenge, of course – but the Congress has, in the past, successfully taken on challenges that the world thought was impossible. We brought the Green Revolution taking India from the brink of starvation after Independence to being the second largest producer of rice and wheat. We brought the White Revolution and Amul, and today India is the world’s largest milk producer.

Today, it is time for an MSP Revolution. The Congress has done it before, and we can and will do it again.

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