The demand of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana to provide part of the cane payment in the form of sugar as sugarcane price seems to be fruitful as Maharashtra’s sugar commissioner, Shekhar Gaikwad, has given in-principle approval for the same.
The protests had erupted by the decision of sugar mill owners to pay sugarcane farmers at the rate of Rs 2,300 per tonne of cane crushed instead of the full FRP (Fair and Remunerative Price). Led by Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghthana, the sugarcane farmers in Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Solapur districts have been torching offices of sugar mills and locking their field offices over the past few days.
Farmers activists in Maharashtra agreed to a temporary truce with sugar millers in the state as Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghthana on January 14 met with them to resolve the dispute prevailing over FRP issue.
Three months have passed since the commencement of crushing, but still, many mills have not paid the farmers even the first installment. 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.
The millers have cited their inability to pay farmers the actual FRP, due to falling prices of sugar in the domestic market. And, now they also claimed that farmer activists agreed to call off violence.
The question remains, will Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghthana not protest in future over FRP crisis.
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