The State government would consider the demand of growers on fixing the State Advisory Price (SAP) for sugarcane at Rs. 3,000 a tonne for the current crushing season, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar promised a delegation of farmers on Wednesday, and urged them to call off their agitation.

The State government would consider the demand of growers on fixing the State Advisory Price (SAP) for sugarcane at Rs. 3,000 a tonne for the current crushing season, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar promised a delegation of farmers on Wednesday, and urged them to call off their agitation.

He also promised to transfer the Rs. 75 for every tonne of sugarcane, being collected as purchase tax, to the growers’ bank accounts.

With that, the farmers withdrew their ‘fast-unto-death’, staged under the banner of Federation of Farmers’ Associations outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office, since Saturday. The farmers from various parts of the State had threatened to picket Suvarna Vidhana Soudha on the first day of the winter session, which commenced here on Wednesday.

Subsequently, Agriculture Minister Umesh V. Katti met the agitating farmers and announced that the government would take a positive decision on their demand in three days or during the Assembly session here.

However, he said, to avoid delay, the government could consider issuing an Ordinance to announce SAP. A meeting with leaders of various farmers’ associations would also be convened shortly to reach a consensus on the issue.

Mr. Katti said the State government had urged the Centre to implement the suggestions of the Dr. C. Rangarajan Committee report immediately, which recommended among several measures, free trade of sugar. The government had also urged to end procurement of levy sugar from sugar mills.

At present, the Centre was procuring 10 per cent of the sugar manufactured in sugar mills at a price lower than the market price (around Rs.1,850 a quintal). If the recommendations of the committee were implemented, the farmers would get another Rs. 200 as interest per quintal of levy sugar, he said.

Potato growers

Potato growers from Belgaum taluk, who suffered losses due to rain in the last few years, urged the government to waive their loans, which roughly stood at Rs. 3 crore, taken from private financing societies. Mr. Katti said the government would also look into the matter sympathetically.

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