Maya bats for farmers

Says wouldn't allow processing of imported raw sugar till crushing of canes completed

PTI | February 3, 2010

A farmer carrying his harvest to a sugar mill in western UP
A farmer carrying his harvest to a sugar mill in western UP

The Uttar Pradesh government has declared that it will not allow sugar mills to process imported raw sugar until crushing of canes is completed.

The state government had earlier deferred import and transport of raw sugar in the state by railway rakes with a view to provide maximum price to cane farmers in the current crushing season.

A spokesman said on Wednesday that the government was firm in its stand about not allowing imported sugar to be processed. He said due to the efforts of the state government the cane farmers were currently getting payment of their produce at the rate of Rs 260 per quintal at present. Sugar mills have already paid Rs 5,939.87 crore to the farmers till February 1.

The centre had asked the Uttar Pradesh government last month to lift the restrictions on processing raw sugar, imported by state mills to boost the sweetener supply in the domestic market. Union Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had earlier said that sugar prices had risen to nearly Rs 42 a kg in the retail markets as nine lakh tonnes of raw sugar lying idle at the Kandla Port in Gujarat.

Faced with severe demand-supply mismatch, the centre had allowed processing of imported raw sugar anywhere in the country and extended deadline of duty-free import of white sugar till December-end.

The spokesman said that this crushing season the government had effected a record hike of Rs 25 per quintal in SAP. In view of the increase in cost of sugar cane production and demands of farmers, the government had taken the initiative for mutual consent between cane development committees of cane farmers and sugar mills to provide incentives to cane farmers, besides SAP, he said.

"As a result, the cane farmers are getting the payment of Rs 260 per quintal," he said.



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