RAUTAHAT, May 27: Sugarcane farmers of Rautahat district are having a hard time making for their daily livelihood as Sree Ram Sugar Mills is yet to make payment to 14,000 farmers for the sugarcane they purchased long ago. Mill manager Siya Ram Sah has admitted to the fact that the mill is liable to make Rs 500 million worth of payments to the farmers.
Birendra Jha, a sugarcane farmer of Gadhimai Municipality, has not been able to pay for his son's education as he has yet to receive payment from the mill. Speaking with Republica, Jha said: “I have had no option but to make my son stay home as I have not been able to manage for his tuition fees. I have to receive Rs 50,000 from the mill. Although I asked the landlord for a loan, he refused me.”
Jaya Narayan Yadav, farmer at Yamunamai Rural Municipality–4, is yet to receive Rs 1.6 million from the mill. He told Republica: “As I have not received my payment, I had to take loan at a high interest rate to pay for agricultural products. And this interest amount is increasing rapidly that will soon be a financial burden while the industry is feasting on the interest it receives from the money I should be paid.”
Meanwhile, farmers have not allowed the mill authorities to retrieve processed sugar from the mill's warehouse. They say the sugar worth Rs 300 million will only be allowed to leave the warehouse after the farmers get their payments.
Mill manager Sah however told Republica that efforts are being made to clear the farmers' dues at the earliest.