The sugar policy being pursued by the Union Agriculture Ministry is “exploitative” and favourable only to sugar barons, said Raju Shetti, MP for Hatkanangle in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, has said.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, he alleged that the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was well-known as a “representative” of sugar barons in the country and therefore his policy was guided by the exploitative interests of these barons.

His policies were responsible for the unprecedented sugar crisis being witnessed in the country since two years which led to the increase in the price of sugar by 100 per cent in the open market. However, growers did not get judicious price for the sugarcane supplied to factories, he said. A conference of growers from sugarcane growing districts of south Maharashtra and north Karnataka will be held at Jaisngpur in Kolhapur district on October 15 to discuss the prevailing situation in the sugar industry and to estimate the minimum support price for sugarcane.

The sugarcane crushing season is all set to commence next week in Maharashtra.

Last year, in Maharashtra farmers got Rs. 2,200 to Rs. 2,500 for a tonne of sugarcane, he added.