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'Sugarcane farmers hopeful of getting Rs.300/quintal for produce'

Posted on Nov 04, 08:18AM | IANS

With input prices having increased, sugarcane farmers, especially in the major producing states of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, are hopeful of getting their demanded rate of Rs.300 per quintal for sugarcane, a farmers body official said Saturday.

Sudhir Panwar, president of the Kisan Jagriti Manch, said that farmers are agitating to be given Rs.300 per quintal for their produce.

Panwar said he had learnt that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had convened a meeting in Lucknow Saturday to decide on sugar pricing. The chief minister, who holds the portfolio of sugarcane ministry, held a meeting with the chief secretary and the sugarcane secretary.

"There are indications that the Uttar Pradesh government will announce the rate in the coming week and in all probability it will be up to the farmers expectations of Rs.300 a quintal," Panwar told IANS.

The pricing is dependent on input prices, which has increased 22 percent, said Panwar.

He said two reports, including by the government-controlled Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, had said that the input prices had increased 22 percent.

"Last year the input price was Rs.187 per quintal, and this year it ranges between Rs.228 to 234 per quintal.. the input price has increased by 22 percent," said Panwar.

"So if the input rise is reflected in state advised price (SAP), then the price would naturally come to 300 per quintal," he added.

Two meetings were held to fix the SAP, with the final one on Oct 31. And in that meeting, farmers made it clear that pricing below Rs.300 a quintal is not acceptable to them, he added.

In Maharashtra, farmers are agitating to demand higher sugarcane prices, he said.

"In western Maharashtra, farmers are agitating and are on the streets under the leadership of Raju Shetty MP from Kolhapur," said Panwar, adding that Shetty belongs to the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.