CCEA approves price support measures for sugar, cotton, jute farmers

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admin November 18, 2021
Updated 2021/11/18 at 4:01 PM

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a plethora of measures to encourage farmers cultivating sugar, cotton, and jute in the run-up to the first anniversary of protests against three agricultural reform legislation.

The CCEA boosted the price of ethanol derived from sugarcane juice for blending in petrol to 63.45 per litre in the next sugar selling season, which begins in December, during a meeting on Wednesday. This is an increase of 80 paise over the previous year. The price of ethanol derived from C-heavy molasses has risen by 97 paise per litre, whereas the price of ethanol produced from B-heavy molasses has grown by 1.47 paise per litre.

Blending of ethanol with petrol is planned to reach 10% next year and 20% by 2025. At the rate specified by the government, oil marketing corporations purchase ethanol from sugar mills and distilleries. The rate rise is anticipated to minimise outstanding arrears in payment to sugar cane producers by lowering the sugar surplus and enhancing mill liquidity. Cane producers make up a significant portion of the protesters in western Uttar Pradesh, and they might be key votes in the state’s next Assembly elections.

According to an official statement, the ethanol blending scheme decreased the country’s reliance on crude oil imports.

The CCEA also approved committed price support of Rs 17,408.85 crore for the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) as compensation for losses incurred in acquiring crops from farmers at minimum support prices during the previous seven years.

“It was necessary to perform price support operations in cotton years 2014-15 to 2020-21 when prices approached MSP levels in order to protect the interests of cotton growers.” “Price support operations assist stabilise prices and reduce farmer hardship,” the statement added, noting that cotton supported the livelihoods of 58 lakh farmers and over 400 individuals involved in processing and trading.

In order to safeguard farmers from distress sales, the CCI is required to purchase all Fair Average Quality grade cotton from farmers without regard to quantity, as and when prices fall below the MSP rates established by the government. During the pandemic’s final two seasons, the CCI acquired a third of the country’s cotton harvest, paying over 55,000 crores to 40 lakh farmers.

In a separate decision this year, the CCEA established reservation guidelines for the required use of jute in packaging, requiring that 100% of food grains and 20% of sugar be packaged in jute bags. Last year, such reservations accounted for two-thirds of total raw jute output. Because the Centre buys 8,000 crores worth of jute sacking bags every year to pack grains, it guarantees a fixed market for the output of 40 lakh jute farmers, predominantly in eastern India, and sustains 3.7 lakh jute mill employees, mostly in West Bengal.

 

Source: The Hindu

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