The government should allow a greater diversion of sugar for ethanol; 7 million tons of export: NFCSF


New Delhi, August 28 () Given that the sugar supply is expected to be at a record level in the next year, the NFCSF industry body urged the government on Wednesday to allow the diversion of more sugar for ethanol production and at least 7 million tons of export.

The country is likely to have a total supply of 43 million tons of sugar during the 2019-10 commercial campaign (October-September), taking into account 14.5 million tons of remaining stocks and a probable production of 28.5 million of tons next year, National Federation of Sugar Cooperatives Factories (NFCSF) said.

Next year will be the most challenging. Total sugar availability would be 43 million tons, setting a new record in the history of the sugar sector in India, said NFCSFL president Dilip Walse Patil at its 60th annual general body meeting. of the cooperative.

There is a great need to allow the diversion of the greatest amount of sugar for the manufacture of ethanol and allow the export of at least 7 million tons of the sweetener, he said, and he hoped that the government will soon present strong policies in this regard.

With respect to exports, Patil urged the government to announce the export policy as soon as possible and to continue providing fiscal support compatible with the WTO.

It also demanded the early creation of a price stabilization fund to help the industry in times of crisis.

Patil also asked the government to calculate all financial costs, including depreciation in the restructuring of the minimum price of sugar support, to match it with the average cost of production.

Once we do this, the current financial stress that the country’s sugar sector is going through will be diluted and pave the way for the creation of a financially secure sugar industry in the coming years, he said. The sector is in trouble due to the production of surplus sugar and the situation of depressed prices. The mills cannot pay the sugarcane producers due to the financial crisis. However, the government intervened and took several measures to ease its burden and ensure that farmers’ payments are made on time. LUX BAL

Aid package for mills to export sugar likely to get nod as industry struggles with soaring stocks


Times of India – 28 August 2019, NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday is likely to approve a mega assistance package for sugar mills to export nearly 8 million tonne during 2019-20 sugar year starting October as the industry struggles to deal with a huge glut of the sweetener. Sources said the package could be of approximately Rs 9,000 crore to the sugar mills which will get the financial assistance under the scheme.

TOI has learnt that the central assistance could be around Rs 9.50/kg to the mills to make the export viable. Currently, the global price of white sugar is about Rs 20 per kg while the average production cost is around Rs 33 and the government has set Rs 31 as the minimum price of sugar at factory gate. Industry sources said the central assistance will be of huge help to the industry to unload the excess stock it has accumulated.

Failure to reduce the stock will impact the sugar mills capacity to pay arrears. The current arrears of sugarcane growers is around Rs 13,000 crore. “We need to bring it down quickly before the onset of next sugar season in November when fresh sugarcane will start arriving at the factory gates,” said an official.

Sugar industry insiders said the opening balance of sugar in November is likely to be nearly 14 million tonnes, which is about 9 million tonnes more than what is required. “So, we need to get rid of that extra stock, else it will be a bigger crisis next year when fresh sugar will be produced,” said one of the sugar mill owners.

Last year, the government had announced a package for export of 5 million tonnes of sugar and till now about 3.8 million tonnes have been exported by the millers. “We have another month left and let’s hope we will touch 4 million tonnes,” said an industry player.

Thousands of Sugarcane Farmers Launch Agitation Against Haryana Govt over Non-payment of Dues


The farmers are currently protesting by standing in the overflowing Begna river to demand attention of the government.

Five thousand sugarcane farmers in Haryana are currently bearing the brunt of high sugarcane production and plummeting wholesale prices. The farmers from across 400 villages are currently protesting by holding multiple agitations across the state. In Ambala’s Naraingarh area, the farmers made use of dramaturgy to attract the attention of the Manohar Lal Khattar government. A shirtless procession was taken out on Tuesday to build pressure on the state and the privately owned sugarcane mills to provide the farmers with their due arrears.

The farmers had also organised a sit-in from August 22, inside the waters of Begna river for five days, which is still going on.

Speaking to NewsClick, Inderjeet of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) from Haryana, said, “This is a perpetual problem that crops up every season. The current protest is taking place in Yamuna Nagar area, the government has not bothered to respond to the farmers and they have had to use different ways to get the attention of authorities, be it marching shirtless or climbing up buildings.”

A Cabinet meeting is also scheduled to take place on August 30 over the issue. Currently, the dues to be paid to the farmers are estimated to be about Rs. 110-150 crores. However, activists on the ground believe that this amount is only the tip of the iceberg.

The government had promised sops to the farmers prior to the elections. Following high sugar production and plummeting wholesale prices, dues to be paid to the sugarcane farmers by the mills are piling up, worsening the crisis of the sugarcane farmers. India’s sugar production witnessed a steep hike of 6.7% till December 31, 2018. Activists on the ground believe that the worst is yet to come, given the high acreage of crop planting this time.

The payment crisis can worsen the farm distress, as the farmers’ incomes have been stressed following fluctuating prices of horticulture crops. The government is merely compounding the problem by refusing to link sugarcane pricing to the price of sugar.

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) offered just two and a half times than that of collector rates in lieu of acquisition of farmers’ land taken away for the construction of highways, the farmers grappling with the agrarian distress are demanding that it should be four times than of collector rates keeping in view the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act of 2013.