By Our Correspondent,Bardibas, Jan. 21: Farmers have disagreed with the new minimum support price of sugarcane fixed by the government. The new support price has further disappointed the sugarcane farmers, who were suspicious of the delay in fixing the price.
According to the leading farmers, they will move ahead in an organised way against the new price rate and prepare for a strategic protest.
The farmers had been asking the government to fix the support price of sugarcane before the local mills started crushing the canes. But only on Wednesday, the cabinet meeting fixed the retail price of the sugarcane after almost half of the canes were crushed.
The government has fixed the price of sugarcane at Rs. 540 per quintal and it will provide a subsidy of Rs. 70 per quintal for the transportation.
This price is Rs. 20 higher than the last year's price. After the government has increased the price of sugarcane only by Rs. 20 per quintal, the farmers have reached a conclusion to launch a protest against the support price.
The farmers have been demanding Rs. 700 per quintal considering the ever increasing production cost.
Last year, the government fixed the price of sugarcane at Rs. 520 per quintal, while the subsidy amount for transportation was fixed at Rs. 70, increasing the total price Rs. 590 per quintal. According to the new price fixed by the government, the farmers will get Rs. 540 per quintal from the industry and Rs. 70 per quintal as subsidy from the government.
According to Naresh Singh Kushawha, President of Sugarcane Producer Farmers’ Association, Mahottari, the farmers were hopeful that their demands would be met by the new government.
But with an increase of only Rs. 20 rupees per quintal, a question is raised whether the government is for farmers or the industrialists, he said.
"The new support price fixed by the government does not even cover the cost of sugarcane production. This decision has only insulted the farmers, it is highly objectionable," said Kushwaha.
Dinesh Mahato, a sugarcane farmer of Gaushala 10, said that according to the current support price, a maximum of Rs. 240,000 can be earned from the sugarcane grown in one bigha of land.
Due to the increase in prices, it costs more than Rs. 200,000 to cultivate sugarcane in the same area.
The farmers are still adamant to their demand that the minimum price of sugarcane should be Rs. 700 per quintal as the price of fertiliser, seed and labour has gone up and the cost of fuel has skyrocketed.