Baramati: Extending his party's support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's development agenda, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday urged him to come up with ways to increase the export of sugar.
"Sugarcane is grown where there is water and then sugar is made out through mills. But sugarcane growing farmers are unhappy as sugarcane prices are going down in domestic and international markets. There is sugar, but there are no buyers," Pawar said while addressing a farmers' rally here.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited the Krishi Vigyan Kendra here and laid the foundation stone for the Centre for Excellence for Vegetable Production.
"I am sure that your (PM's) government at the Centre will take firm steps to increase the export of sugar. Once we are able to sell more sugar, only then will the farmers be able to get rid of their difficulties," Pawar said.
Stating that condition of farmers engaged in business of supplying milk and dairy products is as bad as sugarcane farmers, the party chief said not fetching good price for milk is forcing farmers to sell their cattle to slaughter houses.
"Condition of farmers (in milk supplying business) is as bad as those engaged in sugarcane. Milk that was once sold at Rs 23 (per litre), is now being sold at Rs 18. There are also limitations on export. This is making farmers sell their cattle to slaughter houses. The trend is very disturbing and it needs to stop," he said.
With issues pertaining to the Dhangar community, who are traditional shepherds, Pawar asked the Prime Minister to recommend reservation for the community, stating it has been a long pending demand.
"Dhangar community has long been facing problems. They have been protesting and demanding for facilities that Adivasis get. Maharashtra government has recommended this to the Centre. We might be from different political parties with different agendas, but we will support all steps you take for their reservation," he said.
Pawar said though the state government has distributed money to farmers, the Centre needs to cooperate with the state to grant additional funds to farmers affected from drought conditions.