Farmers protest in Erode; warn of more demonstrations if demand not met
ERODE: Hundreds of farmers protested here on Friday demanding a minimum support price(MSP) of Rs. 2,000 for a ton of sugarcane.
Led by the State president of Tamizhaga Vivasayeegal Sangam K.C. Rathinasamy the farmers said the Union Government’s minimum support price at Rs. 1,050 was way below the recommendation of the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Price, which had suggested Rs. 1,500 a tonne of sugarcane with nine per cent recovery.
They also came down heavily on the current MSP of Rs. 1,050 saying that it was just Rs. 16 more than last year’s. “Given the rise in input costs, how has the Government arrived at Rs. 1,050,” the farmers wanted to know.
A sugarcane farmer told The Hindu that the sugar mills paid farmers only for sugar, while they made money out of almost every sugarcane product. “Apart from sugar, the mills make money from molasses, bagasse and even press mud something which they do not take into account while paying farmers. If income from the other products are taken into account, the mills can easily pay farmers Rs. 2,000,” he said.
The farmers also demanded Sakthi Sugars to disburse quickly the outstanding amount and the district administration to set up weighing machines through the regulated market committees.
They also urged the State Government to withdraw the order asking farmers not registered with sugar mills to obtain no objection certificates before moving unregistered sugarcane.
The farmers added that if the Government failed to heed to their demand, they would stage a demonstration in Chennai and then in New Delhi.