Farmers Want Higher Cane Price, Millers Reluctant
Pune: Sugar is going the pulses way, and with sugar prices having risen by about 15% in 10 days, everyone’s trying to get a bigger piece of the pie. Farmers want higher cane price, which millers aren’t ready to pay yet.
The central government is concerned about taming the rapidly rising sugar prices for which it has stopped pushing mills to export the sweetener and instead is trying to make them sell more in the domestic markets.
The central and state governments have stopped putting pressure on sugar mills to export. “With unprecedented white sugar exports, our purpose has been served,” said a high level official of the Maharashtra sugar commissionerate, who did not wish to be identified.
Last week, the central government had asked industry representatives to ensure that sugar prices stay within the ‘comfort zone’ and asked cane commissioners to make sure that mills clear all cane payment arrears as prices have improved now. Accordingly, the Maharashtra government has asked mills in the state to clear their dues by April 15.
In light of the subdued cane prices, farmer leaders from Maharashtra had accepted 80:20 formula by which farmers could get only 80% of the fair and remunerative price (FRP) as first installment of cane payment and accept 20% after the crushing season was over. As per the law, it is binding on the mills to pay the entire FRP within 14 days after buying cane from farmers.