Tamil Nadu farmers worry about new contract farming law

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Sugarcane farmers from Tamil Nadu are worried about the new contract farming law that the government has passed. The TN government has done away with the State Advisory Price (SAP) and has introduced a Revenue Sharing Formula (RSF) for sugarcane farmers. The farmers are stating that the lack of legal protection in the new law will affect their future and make the sugar mills stronger which are in habit of not paying cane dues to the farmers.

The sugar mills are yet to pay Rs 346 crore to the cane farmers for the season 2018-19. The NITI Ayog which claims that the sugarcane farmers are earning high margins due to FRP and SAP from state governments have not paid attention to the plight of cane farmers.

Along with Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka are set to implement the RSF. As per the RSF, 70% of the revenue generated from sale of sugar and 75% of the share from sale of other by products will be given to the farmers.

The farmers’ organisations fear that the mills are likely to cheat farmers by quoting false income from others by products and sugar.

D. Raveendran, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Sugarcane Farmers Association said, “The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has demanded the government to abolish FRP after implementation of RSF. This will increase the probability of mills hiding the revenue details and recovery rates. We are left with no option but to accept what mills will pay us.”

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