01 December 2022, New Delhi: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday accepted the sugarcane farmers’ demand to provide them with a one-time Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) rather than in two installments as fixed earlier.
The decision was taken in a bid to help farmers from the sugar belt of western Maharashtra, as sugar recovery (in percentage) — sugar produced after processing a definite weight of sugarcane — is lesser as compared to other parts of the country.
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna, led by former Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetti, had appealed to the government to fix the one-time FRP as the two-installment FRP only benefitted sugar mills and not the farmers.
Shetti had even said that he will move a court against the state government’s earlier decision.
In February 2022, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government passed a resolution, allowing the FRP to be paid in two tranches. The government had claimed that it would help in the payment structure of the FRP — a price that the sugar mills are legally bound to pay to the farmers during sugarcane crushing. Since then, the farmers’ organisations have been protesting against the decision, saying it would not be beneficial for the farmers but the mills solely.
The first installment was to be paid within 14 days of the sugarcane delivery to mills, as per the average recovery of a district. The second installment was to be paid within 15 days of the season closure, and was based on the final recovery of sugar and its byproducts.
The move had irked the farmers, especially those from the sugar belt of western Maharashtra, who argued that it would impact their income.
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