24 January 2024, Madurai: Sugarcane farmers carried out a protest in front of the Madurai collector’s office on Tuesday demanding that the state government restart National Cooperative Sugar Mills at Alanganallur that went defunct three years ago.
The farmers under the aegis of Tamil Nadu Sugarcane Farmers Association have been pressuring the government to restart the mills that catered to almost the entire sugarcane cultivation in the district.Agriculture minister M R K Panneerselvam had announced in the assembly that the government would restart the mills in 2022–23.
An expert committee which was tasked with assessing the process estimated that Rs 27 crore would be required to restart the mills.
Out of this, Rs 10 crore would be required for overhauling machinery and Rs 17 crore to clear salary dues of mill workers. Association president N Palanisamy said that they urged the state government to release Rs 10 crore in the first phase so that the machinery can be kept ready.
Even after staging protests, the government has not responded to their demand and the sugar mills remained shut for the fourth year. He urged the state government to commence the restarting process without delay so that the livelihood of sugarcane farmers would be protected.
117 sugar factories in Maharashtra owe around Rs 1,470 crore to sugar cane farmers for 2023-24. Most mills prefer to pay the fair and remunerative price (FRP) in installments. Out of 202 mills, only 85 have paid 100% of the FRP, leaving 117 factories with arrears.
Robbers loot sugarcane-laden tractor, shoot farmer dead
A 23-year-old farmer was shot dead allegedly by robbers who also looted his cane-laden tractor while he was on his way to supply cane crop to a sugar mill. The victims body was found with two bullet wounds and it seems the accused wanted the tractor.
Yogi Adityanath government increases sugarcane State Advisory Price (SAP) by Rs 20 per quintal in UP. SAP for general and early maturing varieties raised to Rs 360 and Rs 370 per quintal respectively. Late variety increased to Rs 355 per quintal. The move aims to gain support from sugarcane farmers ahead of general elections.
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