INDIA: UP farmers continue to plant cane despite sugar glut

Published: 08/02/2018, 4:00:19 PM

As UP stares into bumper production in the forthcoming cane season, owing to increased cultivation, sugar mills have all the reason to frown as more production means glut in sugar prices, making it difficult for mills to pay dues to farmers, according to the Times of India newspaper.

Interestingly, cane department had sent messages to all sugarcane growers not to increase cane cultivation area, but farmers have not followed it. Ironically, every year each mill sends an application to cane department for the allocation of area under cane cultivation, but none of the mills has sent the application as yet, showing their insipidity towards sugarcane crushing. This created panic among the farmers.

However, to deal with prevailing situation, the state government is bracing up kolhus and crushers in the entire state. The sugarcane survey has revealed that the cultivation area has jumped up in UP from 2.299 million hectares to 2.5 million hectares this year.

The government had taken a historic step to control sugar market. With sugar prices tumbling, the Centre set a quota for sugar to be sold by all mills. And a minimum price of sugar was fixed at INR2,900 (US$42.4) per quintal. For UP, the Centre allotted a quota of 625,000 tonnes in June and 546,000 tonnes for July.

Talking to TOI, Bijnor district cane officer, Yashpal Singh, said, "Cane department had sent letter to all mills here to deposit proposal for their requirement. The last date was slated for August 20. But so far none sugar mill has given any proposal. The requirement is sent to state cane department for allotting cane area to the mills."

According to a state level cane officer, all district can officers were directed to boost up kollhus and crushers in the state. Giving the details, district cane officer, told TOI, "The state government had asked us boost up kullhus and crushers here so that farmers have not to face problem to sell their crop. Crusher owners will be given license for unit within 72 hours and only INR9,000 to INR22,000 will be taken as license fee. It will be taken only one time and will continue for years. So far, we have received 8 applications for crusher establishing."