Gujarat sugarcane farmers get better deal than UP, Maharashtra

Sugarcane growers in the state are a happier lot as they are getting a higher price than their counterparts in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, the two states accounting for the maximum production of sugar in the country.

Cane growers in Gujarat also do not have any arrears to be paid by the millers. 

While Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh have faced farmers' agitation over the price of sugarcane, no such agitation was witnessed in Gujarat.

 While the agitation in Maharashtra was withdrawn a week ago following a promise to sugarcane growers of payment at Rs. 2,650 per ton, agitation is still on in UP where millers are not willing to pay more than Rs. 2,400 per ton. They have also threatened to close down their mills in case the government brought any pressure on them to pay higher price. Sugarcane farmers in UP are demanding a purchase price of Rs. 2,800 per ton for the 2013-14 crushing year stretching between October and May or what is called marketing year in sugar industry.

But cane growers in Gujarat were paid Rs. 2,750 per ton in the 2012-13 crushing season itself , much higher than the Rs. 2,100 per ton of  Fair and Remunerative Prices(FRP) fixed by the central government. And if Ishwarsinh T. Patel, vice-chairman of the Gujarat Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd, is to be believed, the cane growers may get a still better price in 2013-14 marketing year.

Again, while there is an arrears of nearly Rs 3000 crore due to the cane farmers in UP, Patel claims no arrears are to be paid to the farmers in Gujarat. According to details available with the sugar mills federation, sugarcane farmers in Gujarat were paid over Rs. 2,847 crores in the last crushing season.

According to Patel, farmers in Gujarat are paid in phases: 33 per cent at the time of purchase of cane; another 33 per cent after six months and the rest of the amount at end of the year.

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