Govt delays payment of subsidies of Rs 520 million to sugarcane farmers

Published On: December 12, 2023 09:15 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 11: Sugarcane farmers are yet to receive Rs 520 million in subsidies promised by the government.

Despite the government’s repeated promise to provide the subsidies to the farmers on time, the farmers have to struggle to receive the amount from the government almost every year. On top of that, the farmers have endure problems caused by the delay in payments for their produce by the sugar mills.

Kapil Muni Mainali, president of the Federation of Nepal Sugarcane Producers’ Associations, said farmers have not received the full subsidies although the government had assured to release the amount before Dashain. “Although crushing of new harvest is about to start, farmers have not received their dues of last year,” he said.

While fixing the floor price of sugarcane at Rs 540 per quintal last year, the government announced to provide transport subsidies of Rs 70 per quintal to the farmers. Mainali said around 40,000 farmers from Sarlahi, Nawalparasi and Kanchanpur districts have not received the government promised amount.

The sugarcane farmers were supposed to receive subsidies of Rs 1.32 billion in total from the government. Of the amount, the government released Rs 800 million last month.      

According to Mainali, few farmers from Bara, Rautahat, Siraha and Morang districts however have received the government subsidies. “These farmers got their amount due to their access to political leaders,” he said.  

Farmers in 12 districts across the country have been producing an average of 2.697 million tons of sugarcane annually on 61,800 hectares of land.  

Farmers said with the government delaying in fixing the support price, and sugar mills not paying farmers for years, most of the farmers had been forced to switch to other crops. As a result, out of 14 sugar mills, five have been closed due to the lack of sugarcane to operate in full capacity.

Meanwhile, the government this year too has delayed fixing the support price of sugarcane. Farmers have been demanding the government to fix the floor price at a minimum of Rs 800 per quintal, including the government subsidies, for the upcoming harvest.   


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