Uttar Pradesh sugarcane farmers intensify agitation

November 13th, 2009 - 4:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Nov 13 (IANS) After carrying out a series of protests in western Uttar Pradesh against the sugarcane purchase policy of the central and the state governments, cane farmers are now spreading their agitation to other parts of the state.
Under the aegis of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), cane farmers Friday took to the streets in various districts including Jaunpur, Sitapur, Kanpur Dehat (Kanpur rural), Fatehpur, Gonda and Lakhimpur-Kheri.

“It’s true that the centre of our protests till now remained western regions (the cane belt). But, as the pricing policy adversely affects the cane farmers across the state, we have to mobilise them in other regions as well,” BKU general secretary Rakesh Tikait told reporters in Bijnor, some 400 km from Lucknow.

“We have to get united against the sugarcane pricing policy of the central and the state governments. We are also gearing up for our November 16 protest in Delhi. That would be a massive one and attended by cane growers from entire Uttar Pradesh,” he added.

Even though no untoward incident was reported till Friday afternoon during protests, farmers blockaded several busy routes in different districts of eastern and central Uttar Pradesh and also tried to disrupt work in government offices, officials said.

BKU has asked the farmers to set up vigilance teams in their respective district to keep an eye on consignment of imported raw sugar.

In the last few days agitated farmers had burnt truckloads of raw sugar at several places in western Uttar Pradesh.

The central government has announced a price of Rs.129.85 per quintal for sugarcane during the 2009-10 crushing season under the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) system, while the State Advisory Price (SAP) has been set between Rs.165 and Rs.170 per quintal.

In case a state government fixes SAP higher than the FRP, it will have to pay the difference.

Farmers want Rs.280 per quintal for their produce.

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