Source: Business Standard

 

Though inflation has moderated since, prices are 20% higher than last May's levels. Bajra is India's fifth most important cereal and like other crops, its minimum support price (MSP) has been rising. The latest increase, for crop year 2012-2013 and marketing season 2013-2014, was of 19.89%.

This year, while the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices has recommended keeping MSP constant at Rs 1,175 a quintal, the ministry is in favour of a 11.5% hike. After output exceeded 10 million tonnes in two years, 2012-13 was a bad year:

The Third Advance Estimates on Agriculture has revised the output upwards yet it is 15.27% lower than the previous year's. Bajra is a kharif crop and highly dependent on rains. Over the past decade, output saw a low of 4.72 million tonnes and a high of 12.11 million tonnes. Though the monsoon will dictate pricing pressures, this food staple of the poor seems set to stay under stress.

IPM data till week ending June 1. The Indicus Price Monitor (IPM), a product of Indicus Analytics Pvt Ltd, tracks real-time wholesale prices for 60 agricultural products from more than 3,000 mandis. Due to differences in methodology, the levels of the IPM differ from the corresponding Wholesale Price Index (WPI). However, broad trends are in sync.