The demand of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghthana (SSS) chief and MP from Hatkanangle Lok Sabha constituency Raju Shetti to give sugar instead of FRP payment might prove failure for sugarcane growers. To douse the escalating conflict between sugar mills and farmers, millers agreed to provide a one-time FRP, but sugarcane farmers are likely to be in trouble with such a role of sugar mills. Millers are well versed with the sugar selling mechanism, whereas sugarcane growers do not have expertise on it. So big question is how they will sell sugar in the open market without having knowledge about it.
Also, as per rule, sugarcane farmers cannot sell sugar without getting approval from Central government.
Over FRP issue, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghthana and sugar mills came on the battleground. Millers are firm that without government support they won’t be able to clear the FRP payment in one go.
The protests 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. Led by Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghthana, the sugarcane farmers in Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Solapur districts had torched offices of sugar mills and locked their field offices. It was called off after the truce between Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghthana and sugar mills.
It is binding on sugar mills to pay cane farmers after 14 days from the start of crushing season, but more than two months have passed, and mills are not paying farmers the FRP amount. On the other hand, millers are citing their inability to pay farmers the actual FRP, due to falling prices of sugar in the domestic market.
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