There is exciting news for sugarcane farmers, The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane for the sugar season 2023-24. This crucial decision aims to safeguard the interests of farmers and support the sugar sector, which plays a significant role in the livelihoods of millions of farmers and workers. Let’s delve into the overview of the approved FRP and its impact on the agricultural community and the nation’s economy.
In the ongoing sugar season 2022-23, sugar mills have purchased around 3,353 lakh tons of sugarcane worth Rs. 1,11,366 crore, making it the second-highest procurement next to paddy crop at Minimum Support Price. The Government’s pro-farmer measures ensure timely payments to sugarcane farmers.The growth of the ethanol as a biofuel sector has greatly benefited sugarcane farmers and the sugar sector. Diversion of sugarcane and sugar to ethanol has improved the financial positions of sugar mills, enabling them to make prompt payments to farmers.The Government’s farmer-friendly policies have promoted the interests of farmers, consumers, and workers in the sugar sector, making sugar affordable and achieving self-sustainability in the industry.
1.Higher FRP for Sugarcane: For the sugar season 2023-24, the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) has been fixed at Rs. 315 per quintal, with a basic recovery rate of 10.25%. Farmers will receive a premium of over Rs. 3 per quintal for each 0.1% increase in recovery above 10.25% over production cost. Conversely, there will be a reduction of Rs. 3.07 per quintal in the FRP for every 0.1% decrease in recovery.
2. Supporting Farmers with Lower Recovery: In a bid to safeguard the interests of farmers, there will be no deductions for sugar mills with a recovery rate below 9.5%. Such farmers will receive Rs. 291.975 per quintal for their sugarcane during the forthcoming sugar season 2023-24.
3. Cost of Production: For the sugar season 2023-24, the cost of production for sugarcane stands at Rs. 157 per quintal. With the approved FRP fixed at Rs. 315 per quintal and a 10.25% recovery rate, it surpasses the production cost. The FRP exceeds, showcasing a substantial margin of profitability ,the production cost by a remarkable 100.6%,
4. Positive Impact on Farmers: The FRP approved for the sugar season 2023-24 registers a notable increase of 3.28% compared to the current sugar season 2022-23. This substantial raise is anticipated to bring significant benefits to sugarcane farmers, ensuring just compensation for their dedicated efforts.
5. Important Agro-based Sector: The sugar sector is a crucial agro-based industry that influences the livelihoods of approximately 5 crore sugarcane farmers, their dependents, and around 5 lakh workers directly employed in sugar mills. Additionally, it generates employment opportunities in various ancillary activities such as farm labor and transportation.
6. India’s Global Role: India is now a significant player in the global sugar economy, ranking as the second-largest exporter and largest producer of sugar in the sugar season 2021-22. Additionally, India is expected to become the third-largest ethanol producing country by 2025-26.
7. Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) Programme: The EBP Programme has contributed to saving foreign exchange, enhancing energy security, and reducing dependence on imported fossil fuel. By 2025, India aims to divert over 60 LMT of excess sugar to ethanol, leading to timely payment of cane dues and generating rural employment opportunities while reducing pollution.
The approved FRP for the sugar season 2023-24 is a testament to the Government’s commitment to the welfare of sugarcane farmers and the growth of the sugar sector. With proactive policies and a focus on innovation, India’s role in the global sugar and ethanol market is poised for remarkable growth, benefiting millions of farmers and consumers while contributing to a sustainable and self-reliant economy.