The Maharashtra government has withdrawn its order banning the sale of sugarcane to other States following protests from farmers. The State’s order was in view of fears that sugar mills in the State may not get ample supplies for crushing this year. This was in view of concerns that the cane yield may be lower due to a prolonged dry period in August and an indifferent south-west monsoon.
Farmer organisations warned that they would stage protests and demanded the withdrawal of the order. Accordingly, the State has withdrawn its order.
Raju Shetti, Former MP and President of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, welcomed the decision. He said sugarcane farmers in the State were free to take their sugarcane to any factory which gave them a better price for their produce.
90 days supplies only
On the other hand, directors of sugar mills have voiced their apprehensions regarding the availability of sugarcane and overall sugar production. According to the state government’s projections, the sugarcane crushing season is expected to last for just 90 days due to an anticipated shortage of sugarcane.
The cultivation of sugarcane crop is mainly concentrated in three States — Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka, accounting for more than 80 per cent of India’s production. The cultivation of the cash crop in Maharashtra in the coming season is likely to be affected because of rain scarcity.