Dif­fer­ent state, same con­cerns

Most sugar mills in Ma­ha­rash­tra are co­op­er­a­tives, but face the same prob­lems

Down to Earth - - AGRICULTURE - Ishan Kukreti

Ma­ha­rash­tra has had co­op­er­a­tive sugar mills since the 1950s. The in­ter­est­ing fea­ture of th­ese co­op­er­a­tives is that they har­vest the crop, says Suresh Jawade, a cane farmer from Khar­nad­wadi vil­lage in San­gli dis­trict. But sugar price crash has im­pacted the farm­ers here too. In Novem­ber 2017, the price was R3,000 per tonne, but months later it be­came R2,500, says Amol Patil, a cane farmer from San­gli dis­trict. The prob­lem is over­flow of sugar. Ac­cord­ing to San­deep Gidde, na­tional core com­mit­tee mem­ber of Rashtriya Kisan Ma­hasangh, the sugar pro­duc­tion this year was 60 per cent more than the con­sump­tion. The govern­ment says that it will buy sugar from the mills, but where will this sugar go? Even the in­ter­na­tional rate of sugar is lower than the do­mes­tic one.

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