NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's biggest cane-producing state has raised the price sugar mills must pay for the new crop by 9 percent, a state government official said on Friday, as part of efforts to woo farmers ahead of a state assembly election early next year.
Uttar Pradesh raised the cane price to 305 rupees ($4.48) per 100 kg for the crop year that began last month, up from 280 rupees in the previous year, the state official, who declined to be named because he isn't authorised to speak with media, told Reuters by telephone.
The central government kept the 2016/17 cane floor price unchanged at 230 rupees per 100 kg.
Although the central government fixes the cane price every year, some state governments such as Uttar Pradesh invariably raise the rate to court farmers, which is a large voting bloc.
A number of political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are bracing for a crucial state election in Uttar Pradesh.
In the 2014 general election Modi swept Uttar Pradesh, winning 73 of 80 seats with rural voters swayed by a promise to raise farmers' income along with religious tensions that favoured his Hindu nationalist party.
($1 = 68.15 rupees)
(Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Manolo Serapio Jr.)