The state government’s decision to fix the price of sugarcane at Rs 2,500 per tonne has created a divide among sugarcane growers, with some demanding a higher price for the crop. The current market price of sugarcane is Rs 29 per kg.
Sugarcane Growers Association state president Kurubur Shanthakumar told reporters on Sunday, “We are not going to accept the price which has been fixed by the state government as it benefits only sugar mill owners.”
He has convened a state committee meeting of the association in Dharwad on Friday to decide on a future course of action.
Charging that the price fixed by the state government was highly unscientific, he said: “The state government has not taken into consideration the plight of farmers, who are burdened by high input costs. According to an estimate by the Agriculture Department, the cost of farming has increased by over 25 per cent as compared to last year and the procurement price fixed by the state government cannot be justified.”
Farmer leader Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, who participated in Sunday’s meeting convened by the state government to discuss the issue, also hit out at them. “The state government seems to have turned a blind eye to the plight of the farming community,” he said.
However, legislator and chairman of the Puttannaiah faction of the farmers’ association, K S Puttannaiah, said he was satisfied with the decision to fix the price at `2,500 per tonne.
“The state government’s decision will help us begin crushing of sugarcane while keeping the option of negotiating a higher price open,” he said.
Last month, the state government had announced the sugarcane procurement price at `2,400 per tonne, which was rejected by both farmers and sugar mill owners.