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Sugarcane Farmers to go on Protest on Nov 25!

Raju Shetti, president of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), threatened a state-wide 'chakka jam andolan' on Friday, November 25, to highlight the alleged exploitation of sugarcane farmers in Maharashtra.

Shivam Dwivedi
"We will hold protests on the streets and highways, bringing life to a halt"- Raju Shetti
"We will hold protests on the streets and highways, bringing life to a halt"- Raju Shetti

Shetti, who led two-day protests in western Maharashtra earlier this week, accused the ruling BJP-Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena government of turning a blind eye to farmers' plight. The farmer leader stated that the SSS would not back down from its demand that farmers receive a one-time payment of fair price remuneration (FRP).

"We will agitate throughout Maharashtra. We will not allow traffic on state or national highways. We will hold protests on the streets and highways, bringing life to a halt," he warned.

"We have asked sugarcane farmers to participate in large numbers. There will be no cutting or crushing of sugarcane (on the day of the protest). We have called for peaceful agitation," Shetti said.

"Despite repeated attempts, the state government has not taken any initiative to address sugarcane cultivators' concerns. The farmers have been left to their own devices," he said.

"Since coming to power, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have not convened any meeting to address the problems of sugarcane farmers," Shetti continued. They're preoccupied with political rallies and elections," he continued.

Shetti also urged the government to relax sugar export restrictions and to raise sugar prices from Rs 31 to Rs 35 per kg, as well as ethanol prices by Rs 5 per litre.

He demanded that sugar mills share the profits from sugarcane ethanol with farmers. "Farmers supply sugarcane to sugar mills. They pay the FRP, which is calculated based on sugar recovery. It is currently Rs 305 per quintal with a base recovery of 10.5%.

However, a significant amount of sugarcane is used for ethanol, which generates a higher revenue for sugar mills. Farmers, however, do not receive any compensation from cane used for ethanol, according to him.

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