Maharashtra is set to begin the sugar crushing season of 2021-22 on October 15. An inter-ministerial committee under Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, which set the date, has decided that crushing licences will not be given to sugar mills that have not paid the fair and remunerative price (FRP) to farmers for the last season.
“Only 146 sugar mills have paid 100% FRP to the farmers. The farmers should take a call about whether they want to continue selling sugarcane to mills that do not pay FRP on time,” the committee said.
Around 12.32 lakh hectares are under sugarcane cultivation in the state for the coming season, while production per hectare is expected to be around 97 tonne. As many as 193 mills are expected to participate in crushing operations and crush some 1,096 lakh tonne of sugarcane.
Last season, Maharashtra had crushed 1,014 lakh tonne of cane and produced 106 lakh tonne of sugar. Maharashtra produces 206 crore litre ethanol, and 112 sugar mills from the state have set up ethanol manufacturing plants.
The committee also directed the Sugar Commissionerate to initiate action against executive directors of mills that start crushing operations before October 15. Such mills are liable to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 for each tonne of cane crushed.