The Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has severely criticised the Farmers Union`s unreasonable demand for their sugar cane price while addressing the Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) during the General Body Meeting in Pune.
According to Pawar, their demand should not exceed Rs 2,600 per ton as offered by the Cooperative Sugar Factories, as any amount higher than that would defy the principle of economic rationality.
The minister argued it would become impossible for the sugar factories to survive if they paid Rs 3000-3500 as demanded by the sugar cane farmers.
Prior to that, a meeting of farmers and political leaders of Maharashtra held in Delhi had decided to form a committee to deal with the matter. Mr. Pawar chaired the committee.
It is worth mentioning that the Central Government had offered to bill out the Cooperative Sugar Factories with a fund of more than seven thousand crore to enable them overcoming their difficulties and paying farmers. This loan, however, would have to be returned within five years.
The crisis has derived from the fact that cooperative factories have suffered reduction in their revenue because of the falling sugar price on the market while farmers are asking for higher price for their crop. Mr. Pawar called upon the sugar industries to inform farmers and the general public about their crisis in order to find a joint solution to the problem.
The minister added the Central Government intends effecting a substantial spike in sugar export generating more revenue and reducing the idle stock of sugar in the country.