The ongoing season seems profitable for both the farmers and the millers in Maharastra, upon the implementation of the revenue-sharing formula.
Vilas Devkate Patil, a farmer in Pune’s Baramati district, is looking forward to a much sweeter cane season this time. Good rains this July blessed the farmer from Mekhali village with a healthy crop of standing sugar cane on two out of his five-acre farm. Despite the healthy growth this season, after two years of bad crops (both in 2015 and 2016), Vilas is buoyant about the additional and more immediate reward.
It is expected that the Maharashtra government is set to implement the Rangarajan formula for cane price. The Rangarajan formula ensures farmers a price which amounts to 75 per cent of the sales realised by the mills on selling the sugar produced from their cane. At the prevailing rates of Rs 36 per kg and an average recovery of 11.58 per cent of sugar from canes crushed by the Malegaon mill, the ultimate price would amount to Rs 3,100 per tonne, as expected by the 40-year-old farmer. Previously, Patil was paid Rs 2,700 per tonne but now, he expects a better remuneration based on the Rangarajan committee formula.
This will be the first time that Maharashtra’s cane growers would be paid according to the Rangarajan formula. In the year 2013, the Congress government in Maharashtra had established a Cane Price Control Board to observe the implementation of the Rangarajan formula but it was of no use. The formula could not be implemented as the ex-factory sugar prices amounted to an average of only Rs 24.92 per kg in the year 2014-15. At that rate, the cane growers would have received a remuneration lesser than even the FRP (fair and remunerative price) set by the government.
The ongoing season seems profitable for both the farmers and the millers in Maharashtra, upon the implementation of the revenue-sharing formula. “Prices should remain more or less in this range. Even if they firm up a bit, they would ease once the next crushing season starts,” said the CEO of Baramati Agro Ltd., Rohit Pawar.