Minimum Support Prices for Agricultural Produce

From Europe to India, why are Farmers angry?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Farmers Protests, Key demands


  • Farmers worldwide are mobilizing in protest against various issues ranging from subsidy cuts to environmental regulations.
  • The unrest is witnessed across continents, reflecting a shared struggle against challenges impacting agricultural livelihoods.

Farmers Protests: Worldwide Extent

  • Europe: Farmers in several EU member-nations such as Belgium, France, Germany, and Spain have utilized tactics like tractors in city invasions and supermarket raids to protest subsidy cuts, high energy prices, and cheap imports. They protest against EU environment policies aimed at achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, which include pesticide reduction and nature restoration initiatives.
  • South America: Protests spanned 67% of countries, driven by economic downturns and droughts, with Brazilian farmers rallying against unfair competition from genetically modified maize.
  • Europe: 47% of countries saw protests against low crop prices and rising costs, with French farmers opposing low-cost imports and inadequate subsidies.
  • North and Central America: Protests occurred in 35% of countries, with Mexican farmers protesting low prices and Costa Rican farmers seeking government assistance amid debt.
  • Africa: 22% of countries witnessed protests due to poor pricing and high production costs, with Kenyan potato farmers demanding better prices and Cameroonian farmers opposing cocoa export bans.
  • New Zealand: Farmers protested against government regulations, while Australian farmers opposed proposed high-voltage powerlines.

Asian Protests

  • India: Farmers across nine states demand guaranteed crop prices and loan waivers, echoing protests in Nepal against unfair vegetable pricing.
  • Malaysia and Nepal: Protests stem from low rice and sugarcane prices, respectively.

Government Responses

  • France and Germany have made concessions such as rolling back fuel subsidy cuts and gradually phasing out fuel subsidies.
  • EU politicians have voted against proposed pesticide regulations, and climate rules are being revised ahead of elections.
  • Nature restoration plans have been deferred for now.

Issues Prompting Indian Protests

  • Indian farmers demand legal backing for minimum support prices (MSP) and expansion of MSP coverage beyond rice and wheat, as per a 2021 agreement.
  • Import of cheap edible oil and pulses, alongside climate shocks, have impacted farmer earnings.
  • Additional demands include higher import duties, changes to crop insurance, better seed quality, debt waivers, and social security benefits.


  • Farmer protests globally reflect a unified struggle against economic hardships, environmental regulations, and policy decisions impacting agricultural sustainability and livelihoods.
  • Addressing these concerns requires proactive government responses and comprehensive policy reforms to ensure the welfare of farmers and agricultural resilience.

Also read:

Farmers’ Demands over Minimum Support Price (MSP) Guarantee

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