Prof. K.V.Thomas expresses concern over delay in sugarcane harvesting and crushing; issues an appeal

Prof. K.V.Thomas
Prof. K.V.Thomas, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has made a strong appeal to farmers and millers to initiate negotiations and to cooperate with the States to start crushing of sugarcane. 

He has said that the central Government is ready to consider all possible steps to help the sugarcane farmers and sugarcane Industry. A Ministerial group setup by the Government will look into the problems being faced by the sugar Industry and will soon submit its report. 

Full text of the Food Ministers’ appeal is as follows:- 

“Sugar production in the country has exceeded the domestic consumption requirement for the 3rd year in a row. The situation is expected to remain same in the current sugar season i.e. 2013-14. Due to global and domestic surplus, prices of sugar in the international market have been bearish dampening the prospects of sugar export from the country. 

This has created a situation of surplus in the domestic market and low sugar prices leading to a situation of differing perceptions of sugarcane cultivators and the sugar millers on pricing of sugarcane. As a result of the standoff, the cultivators/farmers of sugarcane are waiting to harvest and market the sugarcane crop. 

An all-party delegation from Maharashtra led by Chief Minister of the State called on the Prime Minister on November 26, 2013 to discuss the issues related to the sugar industry, particularly, cooperative sugar industry, Maharashtra. 

Prime Minister has constituted an Informal Group under the Chairmanship of Minister of Agriculture & Food Processing Industries including Finance Minister, Minister of Civil Aviation, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution to look into the problems being faced by the Sugar industry and finalize their recommendations as early as possible. 

The Central government is willing to consider all possible the steps its to help the sugarcane farmers and the sugar industry. Delay in sugar cane harvesting and crushing by the mills affects both of them as these operations are already delayed. I, therefore, appeal to all the cane farmers to cooperate with the respective State Governments and start supplying sugarcane to the sugar mills”.