Published On: December 21, 2017 02:45 AM NPT By: Madan Thakur
RAUTAHAT, Dec 21: Sugarcane farmers in Rautahat are facing a big trouble as the government has not fixed minimum support price of this cash crop yet.
Because of this, farmers are not getting sufficient price for their produce.
Last year, the government, sugarcane farmers and sugar mill operators had fixed the price of sugarcane at Rs 530.20 per quintal. Though sugar mills have agreed to buy canes at last year's price, Reliance Sugar Mills of Maamkaur of Bara is offering farmers Rs 50 per kg less compared to last year. The mill is buying sugarcane at Rs 480 per quintal. Small-scale sugarcane crushers are offering farmers only Rs 460 per quintal.
These small-scale crushers have already bought around 50,000 quintals from farmers.
As Garuda-based Shree Ram Sugar Mills does not pay farmers in time, local farmers are forced to sell canes to other mills and small-scale crushers who pay them instantly, said Kameshwor Sahani, a farmer from Samanpur. “Even though these crushers pay less, many farmers are selling canes to them as they make instant payment,” he added.
Sahani said he sold canes grown in five bigaha of land at a lower price to Reliance Sugar Mills as they make instant payment.
The Garuda-based mill is still to pay farmers Rs 220 million for sugarcane purchased last year. “This is why farmers are selling canes to other mills and small-scale crushers,” Uddhav Mishra, a sugarcane farmer from Sangrampur, told Republica.
The district is expected to produce 2 million quintal of sugarcane this year. Local farmers are earning around Rs 10,000 per kattha from sugarcane farming.
Ashok Prasad Yadav, president of Sugarcane Producers Association, Rautahat, said that his association has put pressure on the Shree Ram Sugar Mills to immediately release payment to farmers for purchase made last year and immediately bring the mill into operation.
As Shree Ram Sugar Mills has not begun crushing this season, sugarcane are drying up in fields, say local farmers. “Farmers are likely to see their earnings drop by 10 percent this year,” Manoj Kumar Sahani, treasurer of the association, said.
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