Sugarcane farmers in the State will be paid Rs. 1,550 per tonne for the crushing year 2009-2010.

The State government fixed the State Advised Price of Rs. 1,437.40 linked to 9.5 per cent recovery. The price was Rs. 359.8 over and above the Statutory Minimum Price determined by the Central government. The SMP announced by the Centre was Rs. 1,077.60 per tonne linked to 9.5 per cent recovery.

Besides, transport charges of Rs. 90 and recovery-based incentive of Rs. 22.6 would be paid to the cane farmers.

An official release issued on Thursday stated that Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi fixed the price, responding to the farmers’ plea that the Centre’s SMP was not adequate.

[According to official documents, sugarcane is cultivated by about five lakh farmers in the State. The registered sugarcane crop is raised in an area of 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh hectares, comprising about two per cent of the total cultivable area. An average of 300 agricultural man-days is generated for cultivation of one hectare of cane. Besides, the sugar industry employs directly and indirectly around 50,000 persons.]

The official release said this year’s payment to the farmers would be Rs. 330 more than that of the previous year. For 2008-2009, it was Rs. 1,220 per tonne. “Such an increase in a year has never been done,” the release stated, adding that Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra did not pay over and above the SMP fixed by the Centre.

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