The meeting of sugarcane growers and the government on Monday resulted in a deadlock and the farmers have decided to continue their dharna which has been ongoing for 14 days.
After Sugar Minister Shankar Patil Munenakoppa promised to convene a meeting with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday to discuss the matter, the farmers agreed to temporarily put off Tuesday’s planned hunger strike.
While the farmers were offered ₹50 out of ₹126 from the profits accrued by sugar factories through the production of by-products from a tonne of sugarcane besides the fair and remunerative price (FRP), the farmers refused to accept the offer.
“The price offered is not correct. We were told that ₹50 per tonne would be given now and the rest would be settled after the crushing season ends in April. This price would also be dependent on the profits of the sugar factory. This we did not agree to,” Sugarcane Farmers’ Association president Kurubur Shanthkumar told The Hindu.
He said that the demand to reduce the transport cost per tonne that has been increased from ₹250 to ₹300 unilaterally this year had to be reduced. “What was offered to farmers through profits by by products is meagre. We want the transport cost to be also reduced,” he said.
Further, farmers also said that the factories should be asked to follow the government orders since they receive financial incentive on production of ethanol, lower rate of interest and lower power tariff among others. “The State advised price has been fixed in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. This has to be considered. Farmers should not be cheated in the yield calculation. The government should consider all these,” Mr. Shanthkumar said.