The Karnataka Sugarcane Growers' Association has demanded that the Union Government lift the ban on the export of sugar and arrest the slide in the price of sugar in the Indian markets.

President of the association Kurubura Shantakumar, secretary Shivananda Gurumath and Gulbarga district president Kedarlingaiah Hiremath told presspersons here on Sunday that the price of sugar in the international market was now Rs. 200 a quintal more than that in the Indian markets.

Warning of severe loss to farmers, Mr. Shantakumar pointed that a similar ban imposed on the export of sugar in 2006-07 had resulted in a steep fall in its price in local markets. The Government should not allow a repeat of this by continuing the ban, he warned.

He accused Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa of failing to implement promises made to the association on January 18 about framing the State Advisory Prices (SAP) Act for agriculture produce.

The association would launch an indefinite seize of the State Secretariat in Bangalore in December, if the Act was not framed, he said.

Fair price

The Centre had fixed a Fair Remunerative Price (FRP) of Rs. 1,395 a tonne for 9.5 per cent recovery of sugarcane, with an additional provision to pay Rs. 140 for every 1 per cent additional recovery. Apart from this, farmers were to be paid for byproducts like molasses and bagasse, Mr. Shantakumar said.

Keeping this in mind, the State Government should ask all sugar factories to pay Rs. 2,500 a tonne of sugarcane to farmers as the first instalment, with the remaining amount being paid in the next, he added.

Sugarcane glut?

Sugar factories in the State were creating panic among farmers about the glut in sugarcane this year, Mr. Shantakumar alleged.

As against the expected sugarcane production of 3.5 crore tonnes, only 2.6 crore tonnes would be available for factories in the State.

The remaining would be used by farmers for production of jaggery and as seeds.