India’s biggest cane-producing state, Uttar Pradesh, has raised the price sugar mills must pay for the new crop by 9%, a state official said on Friday, as part of efforts to woo farmers ahead of a state assembly election early next year.
UP raised the cane price to Rs 305 ($4.48) per 100 kg for the crop year that began last month, up from Rs 280 in the previous year, the state official, who declined to be named because he isn’t authorised to speak with media, told Reuters by telephone.
The central government kept the 2016/17 cane floor price unchanged at Rs 230 per 100 kg.
Although the central government fixes the cane price every year, some state governments such as Uttar Pradesh invariably raise the rate to court farmers, which is a large voting bloc.
A number of political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are bracing for a crucial state election in Uttar Pradesh.
In the 2014 general election Modi swept Uttar Pradesh, winning 73 of 80 seats with rural voters swayed by a promise to raise farmers’ income along with religious tensions that favoured his Hindu nationalist party.