UP sugarcane farmers bond together to get better prices

Written by Deepa Jainani | Lucknow | Updated: Oct 29 2009, 04:57am hrs
A bitter war is set to erupt over sweet tasting sugarcane in the current crushing season, what with differing farmers lobbies, led by Mahendra Singh Tikaits Bhartiya Kisan Union, and VM Singhs Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan coming together to take on the might of the millers. In an unexpected turn of events, these two big lobbies, along with some other splinter groups have decided to close ranks to show the might of the farmers at a massive farmers rally in Bareilly on October 29.

Speaking to FE, VM Singh said the farmers have decided not to toe the state governments line on sugarcane pricing and instead agitate for the price that the farmers had set for themselves. Rs 280 per quintal is the cost we have incurred on the sowing of cane along with a marginal profit of 10%. This is the least price that we have fixed for ourselves. If the milers are willing to pay this price then it is okay with us, otherwise we will sell it to those who are willing to pay that price, says Singh.

Stating that the veteran farmers leader Mahendra Singh Tikait and he had buried their differences for the common benefit of the farmers, Singh said an All Party Kisan Andolan will be held in Bareilly on October 29 which will give a decisive course on the action that is to be taken by the farmers on many vexed issues facing the farmers.

The meet in Bareilly will thrash out all the issues that are plaguing the farmers, be it SAP, the proposed action of the Central government on restraining kolhus or ascertaining a remunerative price for our produce. In fact, the state government is in for a major surprise. We are trying to work out a mechanism wherein we can take away the important decision of fixing sugarcane pricing out of the clutches of the ambit of the official machinery, he said. When asked to substantiate on this, Singh said it was too premature and he would unveil the plan at the Bareilly meet.

It may be mentioned that the Uttar Pradesh government has fixed a state advised price for sugarcane at Rs 165 per quintal for the normal variety of cane and Rs 170 for early variety.