The crushing of sugarcane in the sugar mills of Maharashtra is almost complete. Sugar production in the state is going to be less than estimated in the current season. Which will affect exports. Out of 210 sugar mills in the state, only 55 are crushing. Some of the sugar mills which have stopped work have not paid sugarcane farmers in full, due to which farmers’ organizations have expressed their displeasure.
Farmers got FRP after a delay of two months – Raju Shetty
Several sugar mills in Maharashtra are yet to pay the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) to sugarcane farmers even as the crushing season is about to end. Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetty met the state sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad and complained to him about the sugar mills.
According to Shetty, the dues of the farmers have come with a delay of two months. While mills are making profit by producing more ethanol and at the same time, are benefiting from stable sugar prices. The law mandates mills to pay FRP within 15 days of crushing the cane.
Payment of 8 percent FRP amount pending – Maharashtra Sugar Commissioner
The Maharashtra sugar commissioner’s office said that 92 per cent of the FRP amount has been paid, while only 8 per cent is pending. So far, 104 lakh tonnes of sugarcane has been crushed in the current season. Due to the shortage of sugarcane, the mills are closing at a fast pace. Almost all the mills will be closed by the end of this month.
Sugar production down, much less than forecast
Maharashtra, which produces one-third of the country’s total sugar production, is expected to produce 107 to 108 lakh tonnes of sugar in the state in 2022-23 marketing year, much lower than the earlier forecast of 128 lakh tonnes. Maharashtra has produced 103.8 lakh tonnes of sugar till March 26, compared to 116 lakh tonnes till this time last year. Of the 210 sugar mills that started crushing this year, 155 mills had stopped crushing by March 26. In 2021-22, Maharashtra produced a record 137 lakh tonnes of sugar.
55 out of 210 sugar mills are currently crushing
Of the 210 sugar mills in the state, 55 are still functioning. These factories are also not producing sugar at a fast pace. Another 5 to 6 lakh tonnes of sugar is likely to be produced in the next fortnight. All sugar mills in Nagpur division have been closed. Sugar mills in Kolhapur, Solapur, Amravati will be completely closed by the end of March.
There will be no additional export of sugar
The central government has allowed export of only 6.1 million tonnes in the current season, and the sugar industry was expecting the government to allow an additional export of about 2 million tonnes in the second tranche. Experts say that the sharp drop in Maharashtra’s sugar production means that there will be no additional exports. India mainly exports sugar to Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sudan, Somalia and United Arab Emirates.
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