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Sugarcane growers demand SAP of ₹3,300 a tonne

The State government’s talks with sugarcane growers on fixing the State advisory price (SAP) for sugarcane for 2020–21 remained inconclusive as the growers demanded SAP of ₹3,300 for a tonne.

Sugar and Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar chaired a meeting with growers and officials on Thursday to discuss the SAP for the October–September 2020–21 crushing season. Following a demand for higher SAP, Mr. Hebbar promised to fix the price in a week after talks with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

The Centre has fixed the fair and remunerative price at ₹2,850 a tonne for a recovery rate of 10% and additional ₹285 a tonne if the recovery rate is one percentage point higher, at 11%, for 2020–21.

In a memorandum to Mr. Hebbar, Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers Association president Kurubur Shanthakumar said that growers incur expenditure of ₹3,050 for producing a tonne of cane owing to increased labour and input costs. Moreover, factories show less recovery rate and cheat growers, he said.

Factories in Kalaburagi, Belagavi, and Bagalkot have not paid the SAP rates for growers, he alleged, and demanded payment of pending dues with 15% interest. He also urged the government to register criminal cases against factories for providing wrong information on payments made to growers.

Some factories deduct ₹5,000 for every payment of ₹1 lakh to growers citing harvest cost incurred by them, he said. Further, farmers have been denied the share in profits earned by factories from byproducts such as molasses and ethanol, Mr. Shanthakumar said.

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