The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will launch a statewide agitation from March against the Maharashtra government’s alleged apathy towards sugarcane farmers, party’s state president Chandrakant Patil said on Tuesday.
“The BJP will hold statewide agitation to protest against the exploitation of sugarcane farmers under the MVA regime,” Patil said.
“The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has completely ignored the welfare of sugarcane farmers in Maharashtra. The cane cultivators are not getting the money even after supplying the cash crop to sugar mills,” he said.
As per the laid norms, he said, the sugar mills must pay sugarcane farmers fair and remunerative price (FRP) for procuring sugarcane. “However, the sugar mills are violating these norms. They are making only partial payments and driving the farmers to financial vulnerability,” he said.
“When the BJP were in power, we had provided Rs 2,100 crore as loan to sugar mills. It was interest-free. This helped sugar mils to make quick payments to farmers without any delay.”
As per rules, sugar mills have to pay farmers within 14 days after procuring sugarcane. If any sugar mill fails to do so, it is mandatory to make the payment along with an interest to compensate for the delay. The MVA government is helping neither the sugar mills nor farmers, Patil said.
Patil said that if payments are delayed, the farmers might go for alternative crops and this would hurt the sugar industry and ethanol production.
He also attacked the MVA government for allegedly failing to compensate farmers affected by unseasonal rains and hailstorms. Almost 18 lakh hectares of land in Marathwada and Vidarbha were affected due to soil erosion and flooding.