Government announces sugarcane minimum support priceThe government has fixed the support price of sugarcane at Rs610 per quintal for this year’s harvest season.
The government has finally set the minimum support price of sugarcane for this year’s harvest.
The government has fixed the support price of sugarcane at Rs610 per quintal, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development said in a press statement.
Last year, the government had increased the minimum support price of sugarcane by 8.39 percent to Rs590 per quintal.
According to the ministry, of the total Rs610 per quintal, Rs540 is the minimum support price of sugarcane that included transportation costs, cost of production and profit. Similarly, Rs70 per quintal is the subsidy provided by the government.
The minimum support price is the government guaranteed price for farmers which is set annually.
As the government delayed announcing the support price, the sugar mills have been buying sugarcane at last year’s rate of Rs590, and have said that they will pay the new rate after the government sets the minimum support price.
Farmers say that with the government delaying making a decision on the price, most farmers had been forced to sell their sugarcane to jaggery factories for Rs330 to Rs350 per quintal.
The sugarcane harvest season started in mid-November.
Sugarcane farmers had proposed a minimum rate of Rs705 per quintal for this year’s harvest because of the difficulty of getting subsidised fertiliser, the high cost of diesel, a twofold increase in wages for ploughing, higher farm wages and a twofold increase in transportation costs.
The floor price is normally announced before the harvest on the basis of the recommendations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development.
Since sugarcane is listed as an industrial crop, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies used to present the minimum support price to the cabinet. Government officials said the Agriculture Ministry would perform the task this year.
Kapil Muni Mainali, president of the Federation of Sugarcane Producers Associations, said the government should set the minimum support price by mid-December following the start of the harvest season.