Sugarcane growers threaten protest if FRP is not revised

By Special Correspondent, Staff Reporter
Farmers staging a dharna in Mysuru on September 6, 2021 seeking higher FRP for sugarcane. They have threatened to lay siege to Vidhana Soudha. (Source: M.A. Sriram)

Sugarcane farmers of Karnataka have threatened to lay siege to the Vidhana Soudha if the Union government does not revise the fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane. The threat comes ahead of the legislature session scheduled to begin on September 13.

The Union government had recently increased the FRP for sugarcane by ₹50, taking it to ₹2,900 per tonne. However, this amount is lower than even the cost of cultivation, claims Kurubur Shanthakumar, president of the Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers’ Association.

“The Union government had not revised the FRP for sugarcane for three years, keeping it constant at ₹2,850 per tonne. Meanwhile, fuel and fertilizer costs have almost doubled. Now, the government has colluded with sugar barons and increased the FRP by only ₹50, which is absolutely unacceptable,” he said. The association has argued that the cost of cultivation is around ₹3,200 per tonne.

“The Narendra Modi-led government claims to have implemented the Swaminathan committee report and that it will double farmers’ income. These claims ring hollow and are even laughable when the FRP is lower than even the cost of cultivation. As per the Swaminathan committee recommendations, the FRP would be cultivation cost plus 50% profit for farmers, which will take the amount to ₹4,600 per tonne. That is our demand: increase the FRP to include a profit for farmers as well,” Mr. Shanthakumar said.

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He added that all farmers’ organisations in the State would support the Bharat Bandh called by Samyukta Kisan Morcha on September 27. “All farmers’ organisations will soon meet to discuss on the modalities of the protest and the bandh against not only the farm laws but also fuel price hike and other anti-people policies,” he said.


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