Farmers have sought more than Rs. 300 per quintal; mills oppose demand

With farmers demanding a price of more than Rs. 300 per quintal and mill owners opposing it, the Akhilesh Yadav government is weighing all options before announcing the State Advised Price (SAP) of sugarcane for the 2012-13 crushing season.

The season, which normally begins in October, is yet to start as sugar mills have not started their operations, perhaps waiting for the government to take a decision on the price.

Farmers’ organisations have demanded that the government take a decision at the earliest. The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), which has championed the cause of the cane farmers in western Uttar Pradesh, urged the government to ensure that sugar mills become functional from the first week of November. The BKU has also demanded a procurement price of more than Rs. 350 per quintal as the prices of diesel and fertilizers have gone up.

Sources in the Uttar Pradesh Cane Cooperative Federation said that its officials are likely to meet Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav next week to impress upon him the need to announce the new price. The Federation has demanded an SAP of Rs. 320 per quintal.

For Mr. Yadav, who has the Sugar Promotion and Sugarcane Development portfolio with him, it will be his first shot, and a test at fixing the procurement price.