Sugarcane farmers up in arms against price policy

November 3rd, 2009 - 12:10 am ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Nov 2 (IANS) After expressing dissatisfaction with the Mayawati government’s announcement of a hike of Rs.25 per quintal in the price of sugarcane, the four million sugarcane farmers of Uttar Pradesh are now up in arms against the central government’s recently announced purchase policy.
Having staged two major demonstrations in Barielly and Garh-Mukhteshwar over the past two days, various representative bodies of sugarcane growers met in Ghaziabad Monday to mobilise a nationwide movement against the centre’s move.

Spearheading the campaign was V.M. Singh, president of All India Ganna Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, who propelled the farmers to stop a goods train carrying 26,000 quintal of imported raw sugar being brought for processing in sugar mills at Shamli in Muzaffarnagar district in the early hours of Monday. Authorities were compelled to make the train return.

Singh warned of more such protests right across the state.

“While the state had not cared to taken into account the cost of production of the farmer, the central government had proved to be worse by declaring that in case the states fixed a purchase price higher than that recommended by the centre, the sugar mills would not be liable to shell out the difference. Instead, the difference would have to be borne by the respective state governments,” he said.

Taking a pledge that they will not sell their produce below Rs.280 per quintal to the sugar mills, the farmers have resolved not to allow the mills to function till their demands were met.

Farmers said that Rs.165 per quintal as state advised price (SAP) was lower than their cost of production that had gone up on account of this year’s drought.

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