KATHMANDU, March 19: The government is all set to start listing the sugarcane farmers to resolve the problem of the farmers who struggle almost every year to receive payment for their products sold to the sugar mills.
Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Padma Kumari Aryal on Thursday said the government will soon start the listing process and open bank accounts of every individual farmer to ensure that the sugar mills pay them on time. According to her, the step will also help remove infiltration of the middlemen who misuse the grant amount provided by the government.
The government has come up with a new scheme in an attempt to save face of the treacherous sugar mills rather than taking action against them to protect the poor farmers. There are 10 sugar mills operating in the country, a number of which deliberately delay the payment worth billions of rupees to the farmers.
Even when the cane farmers staged a protest in Kathmandu in December last year, the sugar mills refused to clear the dues citing the pretext of middlemen. “Although the listing of farmers is a good move, the government should not back the deceitful sugar producers,” said a member of Sugarcane Producers’ Association on the condition of anonymity.
Minister Aryal said the government’s new move will, however, give a permanent solution to the delays in payments to the farmers. She also claimed around 85 percent of the farmers’ outstanding dues have been settled by the sugar producers as of now.