Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday said that prior to 2017, the state’s sugarcane farmers were compelled to burn their crops because of lack of water for irrigation, electricity, and timely payment of their dues, but in the past six years, no farmer in Uttar Pradesh felt helpless and attempted suicide.
Flagging off 77 tractors for farm machinery banks set up in cooperative sugarcane and sugar mill societies, the CM said, “Today is going to be a historic day for the sugarcane farmers when on the eve of Holi, Rupees 2 lakh crore will be sent directly in the bank accounts of the farmers through DBT.”
He said, “We have freed the sugarcane farmers from the brokers’ clutches and today the farmers do not have to wander around in search of the slip because their slip arrives on their smartphones.”
The CM said that the state’s 77 sugarcane committees are receiving tractors and other equipment today. “The happiness of sugarcane farmers will be doubled by receiving such a gift on the eve of Holi,” he said.
He said, “We all know what the condition of sugarcane farmers was earlier. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office, the farmer has for the first time been included in any government’s agenda and has begun to benefit from government’s programs. Every farmer who was previously dependent on moneylenders is now able to benefit from the Soil Health Card, Kisan Bima Yojana, Agricultural Irrigation Scheme, and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi.”
Mentioning that now 2.60 crore farmers in the state are taking advantage of the facility of the Prime Minister’s Kisan Samman Nidhi, Yogi said, “Within the last three and a half years, we have transferred an amount of Rs 51,000 crore in their accounts.”
Asserting that a farmer is just a farmer and has no caste, creed, or religion, he said, “We all know what the situation in the state before 2017 was. There was no electricity and no water for irrigation. We have now provided irrigation facilities to 22 lakh hectares of land. Previously, farming was considered a loss-making venture due to a lack of water, fertilizers, and a fair market price for the produce.”
The CM said that today, UP was going to create a new record in the country, adding that sugarcane payments totaling more than Rs 2 lakh crores are now reaching farmers’ bank accounts for the first time. “Many states in the country do not even have an annual budget of two lakh crore,” he said.
He said that it is due to the efforts of sugarcane farmers that they are producing an additional 10 tons of sugarcane per hectare. “Apart from this, the area of sugarcane production has increased to 8 lakh hectares of additional land in the state today,” he said.
Yogi said, “In contrast to the previous governments, where sugar mills were closed or sold at throwaway prices, we did not shut down any sugar mill, and instead re-started the closed sugar mills. Munderwa and Pipraich sugar mills were made functional again. When the world’s sugar mills were shut down, UP still had 119 sugar mills operating.”
He emphasized that during the Covid-19 period, when sanitizers were in short supply across the country, the government made sanitizers available at no cost to all municipal corporations in UP via these sugar mills. “Along with this, sanitizers were made available in 27 states across the country,” he said.
The CM said that his government paid the sugarcane price on time and procured wheat and paddy at the higher minimum support price. “For this more and more purchase centers were established. The instructions were clear: as long as the farmers had crops, the government would purchase them. No farmer will have to wander around. We have issued 284 licenses for the Khandsari units, which has resulted in job creation,” he said.
He said that maximum green ethanol is being produced in the country through sugarcane farmers. “Previously, our own money was spent in the form of terrorism against us under the name of the Petro Dollar. But now ethanol is being produced in farmers’ fields in the form of sugarcane and soon it will be seen being used in the form of diesel and petrol. UP currently is the largest producer of ethanol in the country,” he said.
Yogi said, “Today, our farmers are progressing by using mechanized farming. Apart from this, co-farming is being practiced through FPO, enhancing the fertility of the land as well as profits of farmers.”
He cited the example of a progressive Bijnor farmer who, instead of selling his sugarcane to sugar mills, makes vinegar and markets it abroad. He said that due to mechanized farming, today the stubble is mixed with the soil instead of being set on fire, contributing significantly to the farm’s fertility. Farming is being advanced through mechanization.
The CM said that 105 of the state’s 119 mills pay the sugarcane price within 10 days. “We’ve also put pressure on the remaining 14-15. Where previously brokers were involved, the slip now arrives on the farmer’s smartphone. Those who used to exploit farmers have had their businesses shut down,” he said.
Sugar Industry and Sugarcane Development Minister Chaudhary Laxmi Narayan, Minister of State Sanjay Singh Gangwar, Chief Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra, Agricultural Production Commissioner Manoj Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Devesh Chaturvedi, Principal Secretary Home Sanjay Prasad were present on the occassion.