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Sharad Pawar Asks Rs 500 crore for Sugarcane Farmers from Maharashtra Government

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher

The sugar industry in Maharashtra has demanded a package of Rs 500 crore to clear the legally binding fair and remunerative price (FRP) payments for the ongoing 2018-19 crushing season.  

The demand has been made as sugarcane price arrears have started mounting in the state. According to industry executives and experts, declining domestic sugar prices coupled with slower pace of exports are likely to increase the arrears and add to the simmering farm distress in the country.

Former Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar sought Rs 500 crore financial package from the state government to enable sugar factories to pay FRP payments to sugarcane farmers. 

Pawar also said that the state had a bumper production of sugar, prompting price drop. It would be difficult for sugar factories to make payment to farmers if this situation continued. The state government should come to the aid of the sugar sector. 

At the Annual General Body Meeting of Vasantdada Sugar Institute, Pawar made a request to the state government where CM Devendra Fadnavis was also present. 

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that, “He has already requested the Central government to increase the ex-mill minimum support price (MSP) of sugar to Rs 31 per kg from Rs 29 per kg. To ensure that farmers get FRP for cane, we will back the industry in every possible way.” 

He further added that new technologies should be used to keep a check on water usage by the sugarcane farmers and factories. He advocated the use of micro irrigation and diversification into beet sugar sector which requires comparatively less water. 

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