Thousands of sugarcane farmers from Western Uttar Pradesh have been carrying on an agitation since 18th October. They are demanding that the sugar mills pay their dues for the previous crushing season (2022-23) amounting to around Rs 4,000 crore. Farmers are angry that while the new sugarcane crushing season (October 1, 2023- September 30, 2024) has already started, they have not yet been fully paid the dues for the previous year.
The sugarcane farmers of western UP have to protest each year before they get some relief. Farmers are demanding the settlement of outstanding dues with interest.
The government has not responded to the demands of the farmers. Every year, it delays declaring the sugarcane price before the start of the season, in order to benefit the sugar mills. And it does not take any action on the sugar mills for non-payment of dues to the farmer. With the start of the new season, the dues to the farmers further pile up, adding to their distress. Sugarcane farmers are facing severe financial problems. They have not been able to repay the loan for the previous crop, while the current crop is ready to be harvested.
Adding to these challenges, the state government has also not declared the State Advisory Price (SAP) of sugarcane for the current season, whereas it should be announced before the start of the season.
The farmers are determined to carry on with their protest till their demands for clearing of arrears are met and payments for the new crushing season are also paid to them.