Sugarcane FRP hike draws mixed response from farmers

The farm community in western Uttar Pradesh has given a mixed response to the government’s decision to increase Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane to Rs 340 per quintal.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to hike the minimum price that mills have to pay to sugarcane growers by Rs 25 to Rs 340 per quintal for the 2024-25 season starting October.

This is the highest FRP for sugarcane announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government since coming to power in 2014.

Dismayed over the decision, Baghpat District President of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) Pratap Singh Gurjar said the government has forgotten its own promise.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had himself promised to give MSP of Rs 450 per quintal to cane during a public rally in Meerut in 2014 elections,” he claimed.

“We (farmers) are also consumers. The government should also remember this. We also have to buy petrol, diesel, fertilizer, seeds etc. All these things are becoming expensive. MSP on sugarcane should be increased on the basis of farmers’ costs. If the allowance of government employees increases on the basis of inflation, then why is it not done for farmers? We urge the central government to reconsider its decision on the price for sugarcane,” Gurjar added.

Gurwant Singh, a sugarcane farmer of Shahjahanpur district, called the FRP rise “meagre.”

“The increase in FRP of sugarcane by Rs 25 might look like a big decision but is very meagre to what actually is required. The cost of farming has almost doubled in the past few years. The government should at least increase the FRP by Rs 70 per quintal so that farmers could recover their investment,” he said.

On the other hand, National Secretary of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and senior farm leader of West UP, Raj Kumar Sangwan, while talking to PTI in Meerut, said the Centre has taken the decision keeping in mind the plight of the farmers. “This increase will provide relief to farmers.”

He also said that considering the way costs are increasing, the FRP could have been increased further.

Meerut District President of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Arajnaitik) Anurag Chaudhary also welcomed the move.

“The decision of Government of India to increase the FRP of sugarcane by Rs 25 is good. But the central government must ensure that farmers in UP get this benefit,” he said.

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