Pune: The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), led by MP Raju Shetti, has announced that it will organise a protest rally from Alka theatre to Sakhar Sankul in Shivajinagar on June 29 to demand the release of payments of sugarcane farmers according to the FRP (fair and remunerative price) along with Rs 200 principle. Shetti was addressing a press conference on Wednesday.
“June 30 is the end of the year for a farmer, especially, sugarcane farmers. By this time they have to prepare for the kharif sowing and require loans for that, which they cannot get if earlier loans are not cleared,” said Shetti, adding, “The sugar factories had delayed the payments as sugar prices had fallen and released lesser loans to factories and we had been patient then. Now, that the rates of sugar have stabilised at rupees 30 per kg, the factories must pay the farmers their dues.”
“According to the law, the farmers have to be given the FRP plus Rs 200 within 14 days of the purchase. The factories are yet to pay the farmers this amount. We are asking the government to ask banks to release more loans to the factories now that the rates of sugar have increased,” said Shetti, adding, “The sugar commissioner should also take action against factories which fail to release the payments.”
Speaking about the problems of the dairy sector, Shetti said, “The same is with dairy farmers. The rates of return for milk are continuously falling. We know that this is because of the falling rates of milk powder in the international market and I had warned the government about the increasing stocks of domestic milk powder, but they carelessly ignored that. The farmers across the state are suffering a loss of Rs 16 to 20 per litre while the production cost has gone up to Rs 35 for them.”
“The cow slaughter ban has also caused havoc across the state as old, aged cattle are becoming a burden on farmers. We are primarily demanding justice for both sugar and dairy farmers. “The protest rally on June 29 will begin from Alka theatre and end at Sakhar Sankul. We will have talks with the sugar commissioner as well as the milk commissioner.
“We want justice for the farmers. Those who talking of caps and pagdis should focus on giving justice to the farmers instead.”