Haryana Agriculture Minister J P Dalal on Monday said that the state government will increase sugarcane prices and soon a decision in favour of cane farmers will be taken.The government will increase the prices of sugarcane. A decision will be made in the coming days after the approval of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Dalal said, according to an official statement.He was speaking after chairing the meeting of the Sugarcane Control Board here.Dalal said that sugarcane prices have always been the highest in the country in Haryana.The Haryana government had in January this year announced a Rs 10 per quintal hike in sugarcane price, raising the crop’s rate to Rs 372 a quintal.

Meanwhile, Dalal, when asked about the incidents of burning paddy straw in Haryana being blamed by some for causing pollution in the national capital, said that incidents of stubble burning in Haryana are fewer “as against 4-5 times more incidents happening in Punjab”.”This fact has also been revealed by NASA’s satellite images,” he told reporters.Attention should be paid to stop incidents of burning paddy straw in neighbouring states, said the minister.”Haryana government has done remarkable work in managing paddy straw. Machines are available for farmers to make bales and they are provided subsidies. Therefore, Haryana farmers should not be defamed,” he said.

Replying to another question, Dalal said that there is no shortage of fertilizer in the state.In the last year, during September-October, 2.23 metric tonnes of fertilizer were distributed to farmers, whereas this year, 2.46 metric tonnes have been distributed. There is a current stock of 50,000 metric tonnes, he said.Meanwhile, on sugarcane issue, Dalal said the Haryana government has made a payment of Rs 2,819 crore to sugarcane farmers during the 2022-23 crushing season.The minister said that during the meeting, discussions were held in detail regarding future plans, including the situation of sugarcane farmers and mills, sugar prices, and an assessment of the previous year

“During the sugarcane crushing season of 2021-22, sugar mills crushed 754.50 lakh quintals of sugarcane, and the recovery of sugar was 9.47 per cent. Whereas, this time there has been an increase in sugarcane crushing and recovery compared to the previous year,” he said.”In the sugarcane crushing season of 2022-23, various sugar mills crushed 770.73 lakh quintals of sugarcane, with a sugar recovery of 9.70 per cent. An estimated 962 lakh quintals of sugarcane production is anticipated in the year 2023-24,” said Dalal.Dalal said that the new sugarcane variety-15023 has been developed, which is better than the current variety-238. Therefore, department officials have been directed to prepare seeds of this variety. For this purpose, the government will procure sugarcane from farmers who have cultivated the new variety and provide it to other farmers for seed preparation. Both farmers will also be given an incentive amount, he said.

He said that directions have been given to speed up the establishment of ethanol plants in mills as an option to increase the income of sugar mills.Three techniques for extracting ethanol are available, and officers have been directed to study all three techniques so that mills can commercially benefit. Already there are ethanol plants running in private mills, and their capacity has been increased, said Dalal.

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