During the ongoing sugar season, data from the sugar commissioner’s office reveal that 202 mills are actively crushing sugarcane, having processed a total of 441.01 lakh tonnes (lt) of sugarcane. The cumulative gross payable Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) set by these mills stands at ₹13,642 crore.

Impressively, the mills have disbursed ₹13,056 crore, covering 96 per cent of the total payable FRP, with arrears currently amounting to ₹586 crore.

fresh sugarcane in garden.

A breakdown of mill performances indicates that 85 sugar mills have fulfilled 100 per cent of the FRP obligations, while 50 mills have paid between 60 and 80 per cent of the total FRP. However, 117 factories still have payments pending this season. This has sparked demands from farmers’ organisations for prompt and complete payment of FRP by mills yet to meet their obligations.

Farmers’ fears

Amidst the peak of the sugar season, certain mills, particularly those near the Karnataka border, have urged farmers not to transport sugarcane across the State due to perceived scarcity. Meanwhile, sugarcane farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions are facing concerns as delayed sugarcane lifting and dwindling water reservoirs raise fears of a direct impact on crop yield.

BB Thombare, President of the West Indian Sugar Mills Association, said mills need not fret aboutsugarcane shortage. He attributed an unexpected increase of 8-10 per cent in sugarcane crop to the recent rainfall in the State. Thombare said the boost in yield will positively influence the overall sugar production in the State.

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