Sugar mills in Sangli and Kolhapur face slow start to crushing season due to farmers protest

Pune: Sugar mills in Sangli and Kolhapur, two major sugar-producing districts in Maharashtra, are yet to pick momentum as the crushing season gets underway. The agitation by farmer union Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) led by former MP Raju Shetti is causing disruptions in smooth crushing operations.

Shetti and his union are demanding additional Rs 400 per tonne of cane for the previous season. They have also threatened to stop traffic on NH 4 Pune-Bengaluru Highway if their demands are not met.

Mills in Hatkanangale and Shirol taluka of Kolhapur have decided to stall crushing until the agitation is resolved. They fear that Karnataka mills will poach cane from Maharashtra if the agitation continues.

As per news report published in The Indian Express, a Kolhapur-based miller remarked, “This season is a short one due to drought, with cane production lower than last year. If the agitation persists, we risk losing cane to Karnataka mills across the border.”

On Monday, CM Eknath Shinde, addressing the situation in Kolhapur, assured that the state government is actively seeking a resolution to the ongoing agitation. SSS stand firm on their demand, vowing not to allow mills in their area to operate until their demand for higher payment is met, demand mills claim they cannot fulfill.


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