It is electoral season across the world, and in India an influential voting bloc of farmers is yet again on the streets, protesting to demand “minimum support prices” (MSPs) for the crops they produce.

MSPs have been around since the late 1960s, with the aim of protecting producers against excessive product price declines during bumper harvests, by providing a guaranteed price at which governments buy commodities from farmers. In practice this is not very different to how control boards functioned in SA during the apartheid era, before deregulation.  ..

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