Keeping the welfare of farmers in mind, the Uttar Pradesh government has slashed urea prices by more than 10 percent. Earlier the cost of 45 kg urea bag was 299 rupees in the state but the revised rate now stands at 266.50 rupees. The price of 50 kg bag would come down to 299 rupees from earlier 33.5 rupees. The step has been taken in compliance with central government’s promise of doubling farmer’s income by 2022. The new rates will be applicable from Saturday.
Since it came to power, the Yogi government has taken a pro-farmer instance in the state. Yogi government announced a loan waiver just after few days of assuming power and allotted 36,000 crores for the same. The government allotted Rs 30,729 crores for waiver of loans up to 1 lakh and Rs 5,630 crores for NPAs in the banking sector. So far 44 lakh farmers in the state have got the benefits of the scheme. This is almost 66% of the number of beneficiaries projected by the banks. The government spent Rs 24,600 crores on the scheme as of December 2018 and this is almost 68 percent of the total amount sanctioned for loan waiver. The scheme is not closed yet and many more farmers are expected to get the benefit of the scheme in upcoming months.
This year the sugar production may range between 130 and 135 lt, higher than the production in the previous season which stood at 120.5 lt. The reason behind more production over the past few years in UP is a new sugarcane variety named Co-0238, developed by the current director of Sugarcane Breeding Institute, (SBI) Bakshi Ram. This new variety brought a revolution in sugarcane production in western Uttar Pradesh as it suited the environment of the area. Earlier, the pattern in sugarcane production cycle used to witnesses saw a sharp decline after two or three years of bumper production. This pattern changed only after the introduction of this new variety in 2014 for the sugarcane farmers. Now, the good crop cycle extends to five years and per hectare production has also gone up sharply. In the 2012-13 crushing season, Uttar Pradesh farmers grew cane on 24.24 lakh hectares while the mills produced 74.85 lakh tonnes of sugar. In the 2017-18 season, the cane area was only 22.99 lakh hectares, but production of sugar by UP mills had hit 120.5 lt.
Uttar Pradesh has been ruled by Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party for more than one and a half decade. The SP and BSP governments were more focused on delivering sops to people their own caste rather than working for equitable development. The appeasement politics of SP and BSP had held the state in the league of infamous BIMARU league.
On the other hand, the Yogi government is reviving the economy of Uttar Pradesh. The state has a lot of potential for economic growth but corrupt and inefficient governments in the past did not allow it to move on a high growth trajectory. The recent decision of Yogi government to slash the urea prices by more than 10 percent is indeed a welcome step and seeks to provide a better environment for farmers to flourish.