Yogi Adityanath announces hike in sugarcane price
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday announced ₹25 per quintal hike in the sugarcane purchase price in Uttar Pradesh about five months ahead of the state assembly election due in early 2022.
Yogi Adityanath made the announcement about the sugarcane price at a meeting of farmers (Kisan Sammelan) convened by party’s farmers’ cell in Lucknow on the eve of the Bharat Bandh called by such farmers’ organisations which are demanding withdrawal of the Centre’s three new farm laws.
“We have decided that the price of the sugarcane variety for which ₹325 per quintal was paid to farmers would be increased to ₹350,” Adityanath said amid applause from farmers who, UP BJP farmers’ wing chief Kameshwar Singh, said had come from all across the state.
“My government has also decided to increase the price of ordinary sugarcane variety to ₹340 (per quintal),” Adityanath said.
Previously, farmers were paid ₹315 per quintal for this variety of sugarcane.
“The government has also decided to hike the value of the less yielding variety of sugarcane by ₹25 per quintal,” he added.
The chief minister said these decisions would help the sugarcane farmers to increase their income by 8 per cent.
“Effectively, it will transform the lives of 45 lakh farmers,” chief minister said.
He also said 119 sugar mills will be operated and they will be linked with ethanol. He attacked the previous Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party governments (BSP) for the closure and sale of sugar mills.
The BJP has already concluded farmers’ meetings at 298 places in 95 assembly constituencies with a sizeable presence of sugarcane farmers.
“We selected those assembly segments which had a substantial presence of sugarcane farmers. In these meetings, we interacted with nearly 60,000 farmers,” the UP BJP farmers’ wing chief said.
He said nearly 20000 farmers were present at the farmers’ meet. The farmers’ wing had felicitated 71 farmers at each district centre on September 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday.
UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev, party’s national farmers’ wing chief Rajkumar Chachar, party’s UP in-charge and national vice president of BJP Radha Mohan Singh, UP agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi were among those leaders present on the occasion.
The ruling BJP has sought to distinguish between the “real farmers and the ones agitating for political reasons.”
“Theirs is not a farmers’ agitation, it’s a political agitation,” said the state’s deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya while referring to the ongoing agitation demanding rollback of the Centre’s three farm reform laws.
“We have so many achievements to talk about. As many as 2.50 crore farmers in UP are benefitting through the Kisan Samman Nidhi, soil health cards, crop insurance, kisan credit card, 50 per cent discount on farm equipment. These are some of the many achievements that we will talk about,” the farmers’ wing chief said.
In a major pro-farmer outreach initiative in August, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had announced cases against farmers for burning crop residue would be withdrawn and a decision would be taken to reimburse monetary penalties levied on such farmers. Also, orders were issued to not disconnect the power connections of farmers due to pending bills. However, these announcements failed to impress Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait who cited his list of demands, primary of them being the withdrawal of farm laws.
“Scams have been conducted in the name of MSP (minimum support price) and there are districts where procurement has been done in the name of fake farmers. The BJP government had promised that farmers’ income would be doubled. Well, the government should ideally have declared sugarcane MSP at ₹650 per quintal, paddy at ₹3700 per quintal and wheat at ₹4100 per quintal,” Rakesh Tikait said.