Commodities

No arrears due to farmers for supplying cane to mills in UP, says State sugar minister

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 17, 2021

A series of welfare measures taken by the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh for supporting sugarcane farmers has resulted in area under sugarcane going up by more than 30 per cent in the last four years, said Suresh Rana, UP Minister for Sugar Industry and Cane Development. on Thursday.

“While the area under sugarcane cultivation was around 20.54 lakh hectares in 2016-17, the area has not gone up to 27.4 lakh hectares in the current year 2020-21,” Rana said adding that the farmers expanded the area mainly because they are happy with the steps taken by the State to improve their lot.

Today, sugarcane sector contributes 8.45 per cent of the State’s GDP and 20.18 per cent of GDP of State’s agriculture sector.

Payment doubled

Similarly, there were near double increase in cane payment received by farmers from sugar mills in the similar period. While the farmers received ₹18,000 crore towards cane payment in the last year of the Samajwadi party government in 2016-17, the payment received by the sugarcane farmers in the State in 2019-20 was over ₹35,800 crore, the Minister said.

Rana claimed that the Yogi government ensured that the farmers received a total of ₹1,37,518 crore in cane payment so far in the last four years and there is no arrears due to the farmers. This year, farmers have so far received ₹22,468 crore, which is two-thirds of the payment due to them.

Explaining further, Rana said out of 120 sugar mills in the State, 90 mills have paid 90 per cent of the cane payments they have to pay to farmers already. To bring the defaulting mills on track on cane payments, the State government has put all payments due to the mills, not just on sugar, but also relating to press mud or electricity, to the escrow accounts so that this can be used for paying the farmers.

“Under the SP and BSP governments, sugarcane farmers had to run from pillar to post for payment of their dues. Troubled by the situation, many farmers were giving up on sugarcane production. But the Yogi government has returned the sweetness of sugarcane to the farmers by making a historic payment of sugarcane price,” he said.

The Minister also said that 54 distilleries in the State produced a record 280.5 crore litres of ethanol in the last four years. Similarly, for the first time in many years, the State government has issued licenses for setting up 267 new khandsari units. Out of which 176 units have been operationalised already. Set up with an an investment of ₹388 crores, these units have been able to create about 20,000 fresh employment opportunities.

Published on June 17, 2021

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