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India: Cane growers insist on price uniformity

Sugarcane growers have decided to re-launch agitation in front of Vidhan Soudha in Bangalore from March 7, seeking fulfilment of their demands.

President of Sugarcane Growers Association Kuruburu Shanthkumar told reporters here on Tuesday that the government had failed to address the problems of cane growers. The BJP-led government in the state has been indifferent to the problems faced by cane growers and is continuing its step-motherly attitude towards them, alleged Shantkumar.

He said the government had not taken any step to implement the State Advisory Price (SAP) for sugarcane despite chief minister B S Yeddyurappa assuring that it would do so. The farmers are hit hard as they are unable to get appropriate price for their produce. Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have enforced SAP and the governments have fixed the price sugarcane at Rs 2,300 and Rs 2,100 respectively, he said.

Shantkumar accused the sugar factories of exploiting the farmers and offering them a low price in the absence of SAP. Stating that there has been no uniformity in the price offered by factories to sugarcane growers, Shantkumar said the sugar factories in Hyderabad-Karnataka region are purchasing cane at Rs 1,500 per tonne, while in north Karnataka the price offered is Rs 1,800 per tonne. In Dakshina Kannada the factories are paying Rs 1,300 per tonne. There has been undue delay in payment and the factories have to pay huge sum. As per rules they have to make payment within 15 days he said.

He informed that so far 60 per cent crushing has been completed in Belgaum district, which has the highest number of factories. The factories have stopped crushing cane from the district and are purchasing cane from other region. This has deprived cane growers of Belgaum district to sell their produce, Shantkumar alleged and urged the government to immediately step in to solve the problems.

(Times of India)

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