Updated: October 20, 2021 9:50:15 am
Former MP and farmer leader Raju Shetti’s organisation has demanded Rs 400 per tonne as the first installment payment for cane sold to mills for the 2021-22 sugarcane crushing season in addition to the government declared Minimum Support Price (which works to Rs 3,300 per tonne).
Shetti, while addressing the 20th cane conclave (Oosh parishad) in Jaysinghpur in Shirol taluka of Kolhapur district on Tuesday, also asked mills to pay farmers Rs 150 per tonne as the final installment payment for the 2020-21 cane season before Diwali.
Addressing a large crowd of cane growers, Shetti pointed to the robust sugar prices, which will allow mills to easily pay farmers well above the government declared FRP of Rs 2,900 per tonne of cane at basic recovery of 10 per cent.
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The farmer leader also warned mills that are yet to clear the full and final payment for the last season. “Such mills should clear their payment with 15 per cent interest to their farmers before they start this season. Crushing licence should not be issued to such mills and if they do, we will disrupt their operations,” Shetti said.
This was the first physical cane conclave held after the Covid-19 outbreak. Shetti had traveled across the cane growing zones to ensure his supporters came to the conclave in large numbers. Shetti, who was defeated by Shiv Sena’ Dhairyasheel Mane in the 2019 election, used the conclave as a show of strength to send a message to both the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi and BJP.
Among other demands made during the conclave were a one-time payment of Rs 50,000 per hectare to soyabean, cotton and pulses growers who have lost their crop due to torrential rains in September-October, a one-time “holiday” for mills from paying GST on sugar, availability of sugar pledge loans at four per cent interest rate for mills and uninterrupted power supply for farm pumps. Another of his demand was to include earnings from ethanol and other byproducts in the revenue sharing formula for the benefit of cane farmers. Shetti also demanded that the price of ethanol be increased by Rs 10 per litre due to the increased rate of the fuel additive in the international market.
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