BKU demands cane price be fixed at Rs 450 per quintal: Tikait

Saharanpur, Nov 24 (Agency) Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Chaudhary Naresh Tikait on Tuesday demanded that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath fix the minimum cane price at Rs 450 per quintal. After addressing a farmer meeting in the Umahi Kalan village of the Rampur Maniharan tehsil in the district, Mr Tikait on Tuesday told mediapersons that the sugarcane price in neighboring state Haryana is Rs 350 per quintal.

The state government in Uttar Pradesh did not make any increase in the sugarcane prices during the last three crushing seasons while the cost of sugarcane has increased considerably during this period, he added. He averred that the sugarcane mills owe crores of rupees to the farmers. Sugar mills of the state do not pay cane prices within 14 days nor do they pay interest on the outstanding sugarcane price as per rules. Notably, the state government will set the sugarcane price for this session on Nov 25. The Union government had increased the consultancy price by 10 rupees in view of the increased cost of sugarcane prices. In such a situation, it is believed that this time, the Chief Minister will definitely increase the sugarcane price because the Assembly elections are to be held in 2022. The BJP would not want to face the anger of the farmers.

In a meeting to determine sugarcane pricing headed by the Principal Secretary of the State, Sugarcane Development Sugar Industry and Sugarcane Commissioner on Nov 6, the sugarcane price could not be determined, but in that meeting, the farmers’ representatives talked about fixing the sugarcane price of Rs 400 and the sugar lobby had talked about not increasing the sugarcane price. During the meeting, the sugar lobby had said that sugar recovery rate from sugarcane was 9.56 per cent in the last crushing season while this time, sugar recovery has fallen by one per cent due to red rot disease in the sugarcane crop. Due to this, the cost of production of sugar mills has increased and it will not be possible for the mills to pay the increased sugarcane price.