IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


30th January, 2024 Economy


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Picture Courtesy: www.moneycontrol.com

Context: Kinnow growers in Punjab are facing challenges due to a sharp decline in prices and unfavourable market conditions.

Key Highlights

  • Kinnow growers are experiencing lower-than-expected prices for their produce. The average farm gate price of kinnow is reported to be between ₹6 to ₹11 per kg, significantly lower than the expected ₹20 per kg.
  • Despite nearly half of the 13 lakh tonnes of kinnow crop being yet to be harvested, the season is expected to end in less than two months. This indicates a potential risk of losses for growers if the situation doesn't improve soon.
  • Growers are facing financial challenges due to poor demand and low prices. Some farmers have had to sell their produce at half the expected rate, resulting in losses and difficulties in handling the remaining crop.
  • Farmers have urged the Punjab government to intervene and address the situation. One suggestion is to provide kinnow to students as part of the mid-day meal program, which could potentially increase demand and support growers.

Reasons for Low Rates

  • Size and Quality: The small size of the fruits is cited as one of the reasons for the low prices offered by buyers.
  • Customs Duty Hike: Bangladesh, a significant importer of kinnow from Punjab, has increased its import duty on the fruit, impacting the demand and export potential.
  • Cold Weather: Ongoing cold conditions have further reduced demand for kinnows, contributing to the drop in prices.

Expert Opinion: A nodal officer of the state horticulture department’s citrus fruits division acknowledges the challenges faced by growers. He highlights the significant increase in kinnow production this season compared to previous years but notes that factors like the hike in duty by Bangladesh and local demand issues are limiting opportunities for improvement in farm gate rates.


Q. While government interventions like minimum support prices (MSP) aim to address distressed sales, there are concerns about their effectiveness and potential market distortions. Critically analyze the strengths and limitations of MSP in tackling distress sales, and propose alternative or complementary strategies that could be more effective.