Lucknow: With barely five months to go for assembly polls, the Uttar Pradesh government is all set to give much-awaited gift of cane price hike to farmers. The cane prices in UP are stagnant for the last four years while farmers' organizations have been mounting pressure for a hike since long. Recently the union government has increased fair remunerative price (FRP) of cane from Rs 285 per quintal to Rs 290. The Punjab government has also increased cane price to Rs 450 per quintal last week. After this, the farmers in UP have been demanding immediate hike in the cane price before the start of crushing season this year.
The cane minister of UP, Suresh Rana, on Friday indicated about the cane price hike this year and said that very soon an announcement in this regard would be made. He said that talks at the officer’s level have been held regarding cane price. Very soon, the government would hold discussion with the farmers' bodies in this matter. The UP government has already announced the schedule for the coming crushing season. As per this, sugar mills in west UP would start crushing from October 20 while the eastern UP mills would start from November first week. However, the sugar mills in central UP would start crushing from October 25.
Rana said that several closed sugar mills have been re-opened by the state government and in the current season 4298 lakh tons of cane has been crushed in UP. He said that UP is number one in the entire state in terms of crushing, sugar and ethanol production. According to him, none of the sugar mills in UP were producing ethanol before 2017 while at present all the sugar mills have been doing this. He said that the crop area of cane in UP has increased from 20 lakh hectare to 28 lakh in last three years.