Agri Business

Maharashtra agitation against cane crushing to intensify

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on March 12, 2018

A view of a sugarcane farm.

The agitation against crushing of sugarcane in Maharashtra is set to intensify with the Shetkari Sanghatana (SS) planning to stop delivery of milk and vegetables across the State from midnight today to press its demand for a higher rate for their crops.

The threat comes in the wake of an already delayed start to the 2011 crushing season which began on November 1, but has encountered hurdles on account of farmers' agitations. According to SS leader Mr Raghunath Patil, barely 10-12 of the 175 odd sugar mills in the State are operational as of now, and that too on a partial basis.

“Less than a fourth of the sugarcane has been crushed to date in comparison to that same period last year,” he said, adding that farmers were asking for a rate of Rs 2,200 in the first instalment and a total of Rs 3,300 a tonne. Against this, the fair and remunerative price fixed is Rs 1,450 a tonne, which is the minimum price that mills must pay for the sugarcane, while individual mills are at liberty to pay more.

Sidestepping the issue of minimum rate, Mr Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister, Maharashtra, said that his government is pushing a case for the Centre to permit export of 20 lakh tonnes (lt) of sugar, including 10 lt in the first phase.

“I was in Delhi yesterday to ask for 20 lakh tonnes of sugar exports,” he told reporters here, adding that the price for sugarcane will depend on that of sugar.

Maharashtra accounts for approximately one-third of the country's total sugar production and has around 810 lt of cane available for crushing during the current season.

Published on November 07, 2011

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