Sugarcane farmers disappointed with ‘insignificant’ hike in FRP

Farmers in western Uttar Pradesh, particularly the sugarcane-growing regions of Baghpat, Chemli, Meerut and Muzaffarnagar, have expressed their disappointment with the $10 / quintal higher in Fair and Equivalent Price (FRP) From the crop for the next season (October-September). not a single farmer, Business line Whoever spoke to him was happy with the trip and they all said “it’s absolutely inconsequential”.

“What a hike, it’s not even groundnuts. There are so many increases in the price of inputs like pesticides last year, what are we going to save,” said Mono Malik, a farmer in Chemli district who looks after family farming. He said he would continue to grow sugarcane despite this small rise because it is the best alternative crop for them, Malik said he was expecting a rise of at least 30-40/quintal as elections are scheduled for next year.

Mono Malik, Shamli District, UP

He said that the government is not serious about farmers’ issues and no reasonable amount has been set for sugar cane. “I didn’t even receive the full payment for last season and this year only 3-4 slides (according to supply schedule slips) were paid by one mill while no payment was received from another mill.

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production cost

Another farmer, Jitendra Hooda from Kheri Bairagi village, also located in Chemli, said, “It has increased by about USD 50/quintal in production cost this season. Although UP has a system of State Advised Prices (SAP), which They are usually higher than the FRP, however the state government has only raised it twice in the last seven years. Once at $10 and again at Rs 25 per quintal.”

This will be a loss for farmers, Hooda said, and in the coming days, farmers may switch to other crops if they do not receive a “reasonable price,” adding that the sugar industry will also lose out because they will not be able to get raw materials.

In the past, farmers in Uttar Pradesh reduced sugarcane acreage in one year, which created a severe shortage of sugarcane in the state, with the result that some mills paid $80-100/quintal more than the price set by the state government for purchasing cane. Sugar. .

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“I have not received payment since December 15, 2022, after selling the cane to the nearby mill,” said Ravinder Kumar, a farmer in Muzaffarnagar district. He said farmers might even cope with this kind of hike if they were given a timely push. He also said that every government in the past 20-25 years has been claiming to guarantee prompt payment to farmers, which is completely untrue.

He also said that by hearing this news about the rise in the rate of sugarcane, all the input retailers will increase their prices, which will be more than what was announced by the government.

Ram Shankar, a jaggery (gur) maker in Muzaffarnagar district said, “Rental rent will rise by $500/baigha from the current $9000/baigha after such rise in sugarcane price as farmers will demand more yield from growing cane.”

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), on Wednesday, approved FRP for sugarcane for the 2023-24 season (October to September) at 315/quintal for a basic recovery rate of 10.25 per cent. Earlier, it was $305/quintal.

Some experts said that the State Advised Price (SAP), which is set by the state and is mandatory for mills located within the state to buy sugarcane at that price, is always higher than FRP and Uttar Pradesh may announce that next season. Uttar Pradesh Government, after delaying an announcement, decided in the third week to continue with the same SAP of Rs 340/quintal as in the previous season while the fracking season started from October 2022.

In 2017-18, UP SAP has raised by Rs 10/quintal and in 2021-22 it has been raised by Rs 25/quintal.