Issue of sugarcane pricing aggravating
The issue of sugarcane pricing is moving towards becoming a major crisis with farmers demanding a higher price for their produce and millers reluctant to give in to their demand. After the Centre asked the state governments to resolve the matter, the Uttar Pradesh government asked millers to begin crushing by December 4, 2013 or face action.
Normally, crushing starts in October-November, but this year the “cash-starved” millers have decided not to crush, arguing that they cannot pay farmers the State Advised Price of Rs. 280 a quintal on account of surplus stocks and decline in sugar prices.
Although the UP government filed FIRs against four millers and threatened to act against those who have not cleared arrears, it agreed to consider the demand for linking the State Advised Price of sugarcane with sugar prices and announced a high-powered committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, to come up with a permanent cane price formula from the next sugar season (2014-15).
What is the ongoing issue of sugar cane pricing?
Sugarcane cultivating farmers are demanding better prices for their cane produce as the its prices have been declining. The demands are from the farmers of a number of states of the country like UP, Maharashtra, Karnataka etc. In UP, the government has suggested the millers to pay State Advised Price of Rs. 280 a quintal but the millers are not ready to pay more than Rs. 225 a quintal.
The situation is quite similar in Maharashtra where farmers have given an ultimatum to the state government for its failure to declare better prices for the crop, failing which the farmers have said they will organize a 48-hour bandh. They have demanded the government to announce Rs. 3000 as Minimum Support Price (MSP) for sugarcane this year.
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