India: Sugarcane farmers wait for payment dues

Sugarcane farmers, who had supplied cane to sugar mills in Andhra Pradesh, are waiting in vain to get back their dues, amounting to Rs 2,000 crores. Though the government had released Rs 30 crores to be paid on priority basis to the cane growers, the same amount has been used to pay the salaries of the staff, said Bojja Dasarath Reddy, president of All-India Farmers’ Association (AIFA). Mr Reddy, who had been spearheading the cause of sugar cane farmers, said that government promised to make allocations for farmers in a separate Budget called Agriculture Budget. Referring to Rayalaseema districts, which have been reeling under successive droughts, Mr Reddy said that Bengal gram is grown in large extent of lands in the region. The government had agreed to buy only 30 quintals per acre from farmers at a minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 6,500.