Sugarcane farmers oppose Brazilian President as chief guest on Republic Day

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New Delhi: All India Sugarcane Farmers Federation (AISFF), the organisation affiliated with CPIM’s farmer body All India Kisan Sabha has opposed the government’s decision to invite Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro as a chief guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

The organisation has stated that it won’t be appropriate to invite the head of the country that has taken a stand against India’s minimum support programme for farmers at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Brazil, Australia and Guatemala had objected India’s sugar policy at WTO. The countries alleged that India’s sugar subsidies are inconsistent with global trade rules and distorting the sugar market. Also, they claim it aids in building a global sugar surplus, which is ultimately affecting the farmers and millers of their respective countries.

Countering the claims, India had maintained that its subsidies are in line with the WTO rule. The Indian sugar industry is suffering from various hurdles from last two to three years, and to bring the sector out of the crisis, the government had introduced various measures like soft loan scheme, hike in minimum selling price, scrapping of export duty, 100 per cent rise in import duty, hike in sugarcane price and others.

AISFF has stated that Brazil has not considered the facts while making charges against the government.

D Ravindran, President of AISFF, said, “The FRP is also not sufficient for the survival of cane farmers. If the WTO rules against India, the government will not be able to fix FRP that protects farmers. This will affect local sugarcane production.”

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