They will help us in giving clear payment dues to the sugarcane farmers, they tell the government.
Sugar mills are lobbying to raise the minimum selling price (MSP) of sugar to 34.50 per kg to help clear the cane farmers the clear payment dues. The Indian Sugar Mills Association said on Wednesday that production rose 20% in the first five months of the season beginning in September, which further put downward pressure on falling prices.
This comes at a time when a large number of sugarcane farmers in western Uttar Pradesh, one of the largest sugar producing regions of the country, have been placed on the borders of Delhi under opposition to three agrarian reform laws.
By the end of February, 502 mills across the country had produced around 234 lakh tonnes of sugar, compared to 195 lakh tonnes produced by 453 mills in the same period last year. According to ISMA figures, its production in Uttar Pradesh has decreased slightly compared to last year.
The ISMA said, “Prices are lower than about 0–100 per quintal, which was prevalent during the same period a year ago.” “This is not a good sign as lower prices, much lower than the cost of production for the past several months, have adversely affected the liquidity of mills and their ability to pay FRP. [ie Fair and Remunerative Price] Sugarcane farmers are apprehensive that if such a situation persists, the cane price arrears will increase to an inconvenient level very quickly. “
The industry body urged the Center to increase from ₹ 31 per kg to ₹ 34.50 per kg. It reported that the FRP, a benchmark rate below which mills are not allowed to buy sugarcane, has already raised ik 10 per quintal this year. The ISMA said that to enable sugar mills to pay farmers on time, a decision needs to be taken soon to increase the MSP of sugar.