New Delhi, June 29: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has interacted with a group of over 140 sugarcane farmers at Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi. The PM announced that the Union Cabinet would approve the implementation of Minimum Support Price of 150 per cent of the input cost, in its forthcoming meeting, for the notified crops of Kharif season 2018-19. This would ensure a significant boost to the income of farmers.
Farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Maharashtra and Karnataka met him along with Union minister and the BJP leaders. The PM also told farmers that within the next two weeks, the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane for the sugar season of 2018-19, will also be announced. He said that this will also be higher than the 2017-18 price. It will also provide an incentive for those farmers whose recovery from sugarcane will be higher than 9.5 per cent.
The PM apprised farmers about the various decisions taken to liquidate the arrears of sugarcane farmers. In the last seven to ten days itself, more than Rs 4,000 crore of arrears has been given to the farmers as a result of new policy measures enforced. He further assured farmers that state governments have been requested to take effective measures for the liquidation of cane arrears.
The PM exhorted farmers to use sprinkler and drip irrigation, latest farming techniques, and solar pumps. He urged farmers to install solar panels in their farms as a source of power, as well as additional income. He called for an emphasis on value addition of crops. He also urged them to use farm waste judiciously, as a source of nutrients and for additional income. He exhorted farmers to aim for up to 10 per cent reduction in chemical fertilizers by 2022.
The PM also told farmers about his recent interactions with corporates, where he has called for greater private sector investment for value addition, warehousing, storage facilities, better quality seeds, and market linkages for improving farmers income. In the course of the interaction, he recalled the earlier interventions made by the Union Government in 2014-15 and 2015-16, to ease the burden of sugarcane farmers, who were struggling under a huge amount of arrears worth more than Rs 21,000 crore. This payment was ensured through sugar mills to farmers.
The Prime Minister elaborated on the Government's approach for 10% blending of ethanol in petrol, as a long-term solution for providing stability in the sugar industry.