Cane crushing in Maharashtra may commence from November 15

Pune: Heavy rain in Pune, Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur districts, the sugar belt of Maharashtra, have majorly hit the sugarcane crops. Also, farmers have uprooted sugarcane in the severely drought-affected regions of the state to feed their animals as other green fodders were not available. According to the reports, considering these all aspects announcement can be made to commence crushing season from November 15. However, it is yet to be formally announced by the Ministerial Committee.

The heavy rainfall has affected the cane crop in South Maharashtra with some crops partially submerged and some fully submerged underwater. Experts believe that the millers are in no mood to start crushing till the elections get complete as the majority of the mills are associated with politicians, and they and their workers will be busy in an election campaign.

The decision regarding the start of crushing would be taken after the election only as code of conduct is enforced now.

The sugar commissionerate had extended the last date for obtaining crushing license to give mills more time to prepare for crushing. It was extended to September 30 from the earlier deadline of August 30.

Sugar mills in the state for season 2019-20 may face difficulty in getting a crushing license. To ensure the early payment for sugarcane farmers, Maharashtra government has decided that sugar mills would be issued crushing licences only if they agree to pay fair and remunerative price (FRP) dues to cane growers within 14 days.

A total of 195 sugar mills participated in sugar season 2018-2019. According to the Sugar Commissionerate report, the factories have crushed 951.79 lakh tonnes of sugarcane to produce 107.19 lakh tonnes of sugar at a recovery rate of 11.26 per cent.

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