Centre increases Fair and Remunerative Price on sugarcane

Farmers say it is too little

Published - August 04, 2022 02:23 am IST - New Delhi

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, at its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Wednesday, has approved Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane for sugar season 2022-23 (October - September) at ₹305 per quintal. The amount is for sugarcane with a basic sugar recovery rate of 10.25%. The Centre has also announced a premium of ₹3.05 per quintal for each 0.1% increase in recovery of sugar over and above 10.25% and reduction in FRP by ₹3.05 per quintal for every 0.1% decrease in recovery.

The FRP for last season was ₹290 per quintal with a basic recovery rate of 10%. While the Centre claimed the increase will protect the interest of sugarcane farmers, the farmers’ organisations said the FRP is too low when compared to the increase in input cost and the increase of 0.25% in recovery rate is a blow to them. The Centre has also decided that there shall not be any deduction in case of sugar mills where recovery is below 9.5%. “Such farmers will get ₹282.125 per quintal for sugarcane in ensuing sugar season 2022-23 in place of ₹275.50 per quintal in current sugar season 2021-22,” a government release said.

It added that the A2 + FL (actual paid out cost plus imputed value of family labour) cost of production of sugarcane for season 2022-23 is ₹162 per quintal. “This FRP of ₹305 per quintal at a recovery rate of 10.25% is higher by 88.3% over cost of production, thereby ensuring the promise of giving the farmers a return of more than 50% over their cost. The FRP for sugar season 2022-23 is 2.6% higher than current sugar season 2021-22,” the release added. The decision is based on a recommendation by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

General secretary of Maharashtra State unit of All India Kisan Sabha Ajit Nawale said the cost of production has increased due to increase in fuel and fertilizer price. “Compared to this hike, the FRP is not adequate,” Mr. Nawale said and added that if the minimum selling price of sugar is not increased, the sugar mills will not be able to provide FRP. “In Maharashtra, a lot of cooperative sugar mills have gone into losses by trying to provide FRP to farmers. So by just increasing FRP, the problem of this sector cannot be solved. The import should also be controlled,” he said adding that increasing the basic recovery rate is a fraud on farmers. “If basic recovery rate increased, even the minimum increase in FRP is of no value for farmers,” he added.

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