Farm­ers Want Higher Cane Price, Millers Re­luc­tant

The Economic Times - - Commodities Plus - Jayashree.Bhos­ale

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.


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