CHANDIGARH: To safeguard the interests of cane growers in the state, the Punjab Chief Minister captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday approved the hike of Rs. 15 per quintal in the State Agreed Price (SAP) of all sugarcane varieties for the crushing season, 2021-22.
With this decision, the SAP of sugarcane has gone up from Rs.310 to Rs.325 for early variety, Rs.300 to Rs.315 for mid variety and Rs.295 to Rs.310 per quintal for late maturing variety.
Pertinently, for the ensuing crushing year 2021-22, approximately area of 1.10 lakh hectares is under the sugarcane crop across the state out of which about 660 lakh quintals of sugarcane would be crushed by the sugar mills. With the increase of sugarcane rate the farmers of Punjab would get benefit of about Rs. 230 crore more from the previous year. Besides this, on the demand of the Punjab Cane growers the rate of sugarcane variety Co-0238 would also be purchased @ 325/- per quintal.
Chairing a meeting of Sugarcane Control Board here through video conferencing, the Chief Minister also constituted a Cane Development Group headed by the Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa besides other members including CMD Rana Sugars Rana Gurjit Singh, Chairman Punjab State Farmers’ Commission Ajay Vir Jakhar, Cane Commissioner Gurvinder Singh and Director PAU Sugar Research Centre, Kapurthala Dr. Gulzar Singh. The group has been mandated to find ways and means to enhance the production of sugarcane and promotion of advanced cultivation technologies so as to ensure remarkable improvement in sugar recovery.
Pointing out further, the Chief Minister asked the Agriculture Department to work closely with farmers for brining far more area under sugarcane so as to improve the viability of sugar mills besides giving push to state government’s ambitious program of crop diversification.
Taking part in the deliberations, Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa emphasized the need to modernize the cooperative sugar mills so that the cost of production could be reduced and cane growers could fetch better remunerative prices on their produce.
Notably, the sugarcane is an important crop of the state as its supports 16 sugar mills of which nine are in cooperative sector. The cane crushing capacity of these mills is 56,000 tons of sugar per day and if run at full, capacity, these mills can crush sugarcane from an area of 125 lakh hectares, where as the present area is 0.93 lakh hectares. The sugarcane crop creates tremendous job potential with employment in rural areas both for harvesting and processing.
The meeting was attended ACS Development Anirudh Tewari, Principal Secretary KAP Sinha, RCS Vikas Garg, Commissioner Agriculture Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Director Agriculture Sukhdev Singh Sidhu, CMD Nahar Industrial Enterprises, Amloh Kamal Oswal besides representatives of various cane growers associations.