With a question mark hovering over the formation of the next government, the start date is yet to be decided. Maharahstra has reported more than 8.43 lakh hectares of cane and the latest estimates by the cane commissioner’s office has even estimated production of 58.23 lakh tonnes of sugar.
While the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra can claim satisfaction for doing everything possible to ensure payment by mills — and before state polls, hardly three months away — that sentiment isn’t really echoed on the ground.
While Uttar Pradesh’s sugar belt has post-Independence shifted to the western and central districts, sugar cane still retains political relevance in the four northeastern constituencies that vote in the last phase of polls on May 19.
By the end of March, sugar mills in the state had reported cane dues of over Rs 4,600 crore, the highest amount the mills have ever owed to farmers. As the crushing season enters its last leg, the central government and the sugar mills are still trying to figure out how to pay cane farmers their dues.
The sugarcane farmers in Karnataka’s Gulbarga district have been waging a long battle with mills and the state government, which owe them money for the crops purchased from them. Deep in debt and facing repayment pressures, desperation has driven many of them to end their lives. Gulbarga district collector Vipul Banshal said Rs. 40 crore […]