Bilateral agreement for sugarcane growers is illegal: Farmer leader

Belagavi: The to sugarcane and to compulsorily enter into a about buying and selling of produce is a violation of section 10 of State Advisory Price (SAP) Act-2013, said advocate and National Farmers Organization president .
The state government issued notification on December 4, making it mandatory for sugarcane farmers and factories to go into a bilateral agreement well in advance of the crushing season.

Sheri said on Saturday that issuing such a notification is violation of SAP Act and attracts one-year imprisonment and Rs 5,000 penalty.

According to Sheri, factories had made similar attempts of making bilateral agreements with farmers in 2013 and erected plaques in this regard on factory premises. However, the high court had said the bilateral agreement was illegal and had ordered factories to remove the plaques.

“Despite that experience, this government has issued a notification for which sugar commissioner will be directly held responsible,” he said.

Sheri said the government has drafted 24 guidelines in the model agreement which doesn’t mention about recovery-based payment and ex-field rate for sugarcane.

“The Centre has fixed an FRP to sugarcane at 10 sugar recovery ie 10kg per quintal. However, the recovery of sugarcane grown in North-Karnataka is 11kg to 14kg per quintal. Factories have been deceiving farmers since the beginning by denying payment on recovery basis. Unfortunately, the government also not mentioned about sugar recovery-based price in the 24 guidelines,” he added.

The farmer leader said the government should withdraw the notification immediately.

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