Karnal : The Bhartiya Janata Party could not fulfil its 2014 poll promise of production cost plus 50% to the farmers, but two states ruled by it, first Madhya Pradesh in August and now Haryana, have come out with schemes to assure them at least their input cost if the prices crash in the market.

Haryana is rather the first state in the country to give the price guarantee to the vegetable growers, covering four crops of potatoes, onions, tomatoes and cauliflower in the scheme launched by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday at Padhana village of Karnal, a hub of tomato growers in the state.

State agriculture minister O P Dhankar claimed this guaranteed sort of minimum support price under the “Bhavantar Bharpai Yojana — BBY” (Price deficit compensation) is an improvement over the Madhya Pradesh scheme which covers only three pulses and six oilseeds that are not as perishable as the vegetables. “We are making the vegetable growers Jokhim Mukt (risk free) through this novel scheme,” he said.

He said the scheme will come to the rescue of the hapless farmers who have to at times either throw away their produce like tomatoes and potatoes on roads or sell at a price that does not recover even the cartage cost, what to say of the input costs involved in farming, in the event of the prices falling drastically.

“For example, if the prices of potatoes in the Mandi (vegetable market) fall to Re 1 per kg on any given day while the growers’ input cost is Rs 4 per kg, the government will compensate him this difference of Rs 3 under the scheme,” says Dhankar, the brain behind the scheme.

He claims an identical scheme for pulses and oilseeds was launched in Madhya Pradesh on his suggestion. He said like wheat and rice, the Centre and many other states have been fixing the minimum support price of these produces but todate there is no support price for the vegetables in any state.

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