Targeting Rs 38,000 crore payments, UP sugar mills likely to start crushing this week
The cane crushing season 2021-22 is likely to start in UP this week. With a hike of Rs 25 in the sugarcane SAP to Rs 350 per quintal, the UP government has estimated that 119 sugar mills would collectively purchase cane worth Rs 38,000 crore in the season, nearly Rs 4,000 crore higher compared to the previous 2020-21 cycle.
The farm stir in the bountiful sugarcane belt of western Uttar Pradesh (UP) notwithstanding, the cane crushing season 2021-22 is likely to start this week to keep farmers in good humour in the current election year.
With a hike of Rs 25 in the sugarcane State Advised Price (SAP) to Rs 350 per quintal, the UP government has estimated that 119 sugar mills would collectively purchase cane worth Rs 38,000 crore in the season, nearly Rs 4,000 crore higher compared to the previous 2020-21 cycle.
While the western UP mills normally start in the first phase, the sugar mills in the central and eastern UP districts join the league of crushers in the successive weeks.
According to sources, the details of 4.6 million UP cane farmers have been fed in the state sugarcane department portal for a seamless procurement and payment process going forward.
Besides, 40 million cane supply receipts/chits (parchees in colloquial lingo) would be distributed to the farmers. The UP sugarcane farmers supply the cash crop to mills through 168 cane societies, which have traditionally been acting as an interface between the farmers and the mills.
On September 26, the Yogi Adityanath government had announced to increase the SAP by Rs 25 per quintal after a gap of four years. Earlier, the SAP was hiked by Rs 10 per quintal in 2017. However, the state decided to retain the SAP at Rs 325 and Rs 315 per quintal for the early and common varieties of cane in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
“The UP sugar mills functioned throughout the Covid-19 pandemic although the world’s top sugar producer Brazil also saw a dip in production, while mills in Maharashtra and Karnataka could not operate optimally in the challenging circumstances,” chief minister Adityanath had said while announcing the SAP hike in Lucknow.
Although UP sugar mills have still not cleared their full cane arrears for the previous 2020-21 season, yet the Adityanath government claimed that cane price worth Rs 1.44 trillion had been paid to the farmers since 2017, which was more than the payments made during the two previous regimes of Mayawati (2007-12) and Akhilesh Yadav (2012-17) put together.
According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), UP is estimated to have a cane area of 2.3 million hectares (MH), more or less similar to the previous year, in the coming 2021-22 sugar season (Oct-Sep).
India’s top sugarcane producer, UP had logged about 11 million tonnes (MT) sugar output in the last 2020-21 (Oct-Sep) season, which was nearly a third of the consolidated 31 MT production in the country.