Farmers struggle to recover their old revenue when new crushing season has already started
KATHMANDU, Dec 2: Sugarcane farmers are yet to receive a due amount worth Rs 481 million from four sugar producers, namely Shree Ram Sugar Mill, Annapurna Sugar Mill, Indira Sugar Mill and Lumbini Sugar Mill.
The sugar producers have complained about the reluctance of the sugar mill owners to clear their outstanding dues even as the new crushing season of sugarcane has already started. The crushing season normally begins from mid-November in Nepal.
According to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Shree Ram Sugar Mill is yet to clear Rs 350 million dues of the farmers. Likewise, Annapurna Sugar Mill owes Rs 170 million, Lumbini Sugar Mill Rs 84.1 million and Indira Sugar Mill Rs 47 million to sugarcane farmers.
Almost every year, sugar mills make and break their promise to pay sugarcane farmers on time even as the government bodies are putting constant pressure on them. Farmers are compelled to launch massive protests time and again just to recover money from selling their products.
The ministry’s assistant spokesperson Urmila KC said the ministry has been in regular follow up of the sugar mills to relieve the farmers. According to her, the sugar mills have been still expressing their inability to sell their stocks to clear the money that they owe to the farmers.
Shree Ram Sugar Mill that owes the largest money to the farmers has remained closed since July this year. In the name of accumulated losses, the sugar factory shut down its operation without paying to the farmers their due amount.
Following the incident, the sugarcane producers even knocked the door of the parliamentary Industry, Commerce, Labour and Consumer Welfare Committee in October. This also failed to resolve the problem.