Sweetening the Harvest: Cabinet Nods to ₹25 Surge in Sugarcane Rates, Empowering 5 Crore Farmers

Sugarcane Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) hike

1. Significant 8% Surge in Sugarcane Procurement Price:

In a significant move, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved a substantial 8% increase in the fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane. The revised price, set at ₹340 per quintal for the upcoming 2024-25 marketing season, stands as a testament to the government's commitment to supporting over 5 crore, sugarcane farmers and their families.

2. Payment by Sugar Mills Tied to Recovery Rate:

Sugar mills will now disburse ₹340 per quintal based on a sugar recovery rate of 10.25%. Notably, for every 0.1% increase in recovery, farmers stand to gain an additional ₹3.32 per quintal, while a reduction in recovery results in a corresponding deduction.

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3. Minimum Price Assurance for Farmers:

Even in scenarios where the sugar recovery rate is at 9.5%, farmers are guaranteed a minimum FRP of ₹315.10 per quintal. This assurance aims to provide stability to farmers amid fluctuating recovery rates.

4. Contextual Relevance Amidst Political and Farmer Unrest:

The timing of this decision, just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, adds a political dimension. It coincides with ongoing protests by Punjab farmers, who are advocating for legal guarantees regarding minimum support prices and full debt waivers.

5. Broad Impact on Sugarcane Sector:

The decision resonates beyond individual farmers, as the sugar sector plays a pivotal role in the lives of 5 crore sugarcane farmers and 5 lakh sugar mill workers. It has ripple effects on ancillary activities, including farm labor and transportation.

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6. Comprehensive Cabinet Decisions:

I. National Livestock Mission Modification: Activities now include a 50% capital subsidy for establishing horse, donkey, mule, and camel entrepreneurship.

II. Fodder Seed Processing Infrastructure: Entrepreneurs, including private companies and startups, can now set up fodder seed processing units with a 50% capital subsidy.

III. Easing FDI norms in the Space Sector: Government efforts to attract foreign investment.

IV. Continuation of Women's Safety Scheme: A holistic scheme with a total cost of ₹1,179.72 crore, focusing on cyber forensic science laboratories and a national forensic data center.

V. Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP) Continuation: Addressing critical aspects of flood control and anti-erosion measures, with an approved outlay of ₹4,100 crore for the next five years.

Conclusion:

The approval of the sugarcane procurement price increase reflects the government's proactive stance in supporting farmers. Simultaneously, the broader spectrum of decisions underscores a comprehensive approach to economic development and social welfare, considering the diverse needs of the populace.

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