The sugar industry in Maharashtra are in financial distress, and the government is yet to find an actual solution to it. On the other hand, farmer associations in the state have warned to launch an agitation if millers fail to pay a Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) in one installment.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari while speaking at the opening ceremony of the Solapur-Osmanabad highway in Solapur on January 9 blamed external factors for the current sugar crisis and said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken historic decisions to resolve the issues of sugarcane farmers.”
The factories have been unable to pay the sugarcane farmers the FRP, due to the decline in the price of sugar and no increment in the minimum selling price. The rule mandates that FRP amount should be deposited to the farmers’ bank accounts within 14 days after the sugarcane harvest is handed over to the factory owners, but millers failed to do so.
Gadkari stressed that sugarcane farmers are facing a crisis because of the problem caused by the international sugar market, and not us. “Brazil sells sugar at Rs 19 per kg, and this is affecting farmers and sugar factories. The PM has taken important steps to address this.” he further added.
He told gathering, “PM has taken the decision that from now, sugar will not be sold for less than Rs 29 per kg. And also for its exports, there will be a subsidy.”
He has advice recently to farmers that they should stop cultivating sugarcane and look for ethanol production rather than sugar. And also insisted that the government should not permit new sugar factories as there is excess sugar when compared to consumption.
According to reports, Sugarcane arrears have touched more than Rs 11,000 crore in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, two major sugar producing states.