Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan taking charge as the Minister of State for Agriculture, in New Delhi on May 28, 2014.

UP government must hike cane support price, address farmers woes: Minister Sanjeev Balyan

Balyan, who is the BJP MP from Muzaffarnagar and minister of state for Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries, said the party has given the most political representation to the Jat community, and Adityanath’s thrust on law and order will work to the party’s benefit in Western UP in the upcoming assembly polls.

The SAP or the state advised price of sugarcane for the current crushing year, was last increased by Rs 10 per quintal in 2017, soon after the Yogi Adityanath government came to power. However, earlier this year, the state government decided not to hike the price anymore, making it the third straight year the price has remained constant. The price now remains at Rs 315 per quintal for the common variety that comprises more than half of the total sugarcane produce.

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Minister Sanjeev Balyan in support of farmers

“Yes, there is a problem with sugarcane farmers. The reasons could be many…over production, declining rates of sugar internationally. As part of the government, I can understand, but it is also true that prices of many other things have increased in the last four years.

“I have been requesting them (UP government) to do it for two years now. They did not listen to it last year. I am hopeful at least this time, they will listen to me. This is a state issue, not a central one… Barring a few states, there is FRP (fair and remunerative price) in most states. We have the SAP in UP that the state government decides. I am optimistic that this time Yogi Adityanath will approve an adequate increase in price for sugarcane,” he said.

State government officials told ET that the Yogi government is looking at going for at smallest a marginal, if not real increase before the elections.

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“We also respected him (Ajit Singh) as do people across this region, but respect is different from the decision to vote for someone… A lot of factors will decide how Jats will vote. Especially, times have changed, and this kind of sameekaran (social engineering) that they are looking at to drive their politics will not help them when the time comes to cast votes. Performance has become the biggest marker, and the Jat community has seen how things have been in the past. It is not possible now to influence an entire community with promises alone,” he said.

“Before 2017, there were just three MLA, and the MPs were from just one family. The BJP has given Jats more political representation than any other person or party. I don’t want to underrate anyone, but he (Rakesh Tikait) is no longer a farmers’ leader”.

“At least in West UP, I can tell you that the biggest problem was crime. People of western UP have suffered because of thefts, robberies, kidnaps and land grab. Yogi’s handling of law and order has substantially reduced the problem” he added.

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