For the Indian sugar industry, trouble is escalating with each passing days. On the other hand, sugarcane associations are becoming violent due to non-payment of FRP (Fair and Remunerative Price).
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana said, “Sugar mills of Maharashtra are unable to pay FRP, due to which sugarcane farmers are angry. If millers are not capable of paying dues to farmers, then instead of money, sugar should be given in accordance with the minimum selling price of Rs 2,900 per quintal fixed by the Central Government.”
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 in the district failed to do so.
The protests were triggered by the decision of sugar mill owners to pay millers at the rate of Rs 2,300 per tonne of cane crushed instead of the full FRP. 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 two days.
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghthana also warned of launching an agitation on January 28 if millers fail to give one-time FRP to sugarcane farmers.