India

Farmers stage demonstration seeking higher SAP for sugarcane

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Karnataka State Sugarcane Cultivators Association, which is spearheading the protest, has sought higher SAP in view of escalation of input cost

Karnataka State Sugarcane Cultivators Association, which is spearheading the protest, has sought higher SAP in view of escalation of input cost

Scores of farmers staged a demonstration in the city on Monday seeking immediate announcement of State Advisory Price (SAP) for sugarcane.

The Karnataka State Sugarcane Cultivators Association, which is spearheading the protest, has sought higher SAP in view of escalation of input cost and wants the State to emulate the Uttar Pradesh government where the SAP is ₹3,500 per ton.

Kurubur Shanthakumar, president of the association, said that farmers in the State are yet to receive the arrears due to them to the tune of ₹300 crore, further adding to their financial misery.

He said the area under sugarcane cultivation has increased during the current year and so has the yield. Though crushing of sugarcane has commenced, the SAP was yet to be announced leading to a delay in the sugar mills making payment for sugarcane procured from the farmers, Mr. Shanthakumar added.

Denial of payment on byproducts

Addressing fellow farmers who were part of the protest, Mr. Shanthakumar said sugarcane cultivators were also being denied payment on byproducts like ethanol and hence, the government should take measures to ensure that the cultivators are not denied their due.

Mr. Shanthakumar asked sugarcane cultivators to unite in pressing for their demands. Pointing out that there are nearly 25,000 sugarcane cultivators in Mysuru and Mandya, he urged them to display greater solidarity lest they continue to be ‘’exploited’’.

Crushing the sugarcane and processing its byproducts is a lucrative business, which is evident in 85 new applicants seeking license to establish sugar crushing mills in addition to the 74 that already exist, said Mr. Shanthakumar.

He cautioned farmers to be wary of a section of politicians who were adorning green shawls as if to identify themselves with the farming community. But in reality, they were engaged in real estate business and were part of the land sharks and mafia, he added.

The association submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner in which the government was issued a 15-day deadline to comply with their demands, failing which it has threatened to lay siege to the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru.

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