Low sugarcane output likely to upset sugar production
- Cultivation fell as mill owners failed to pay farmers in time
Feb 13, 2017-
Sugar production in Nawalparasi has gone down significantly because of low sugarcane production.
A shortage of sugar is likely to occur next year due to low production. To offset the imminent shortage and possible price fluctuations of sugar, the Ministry of Supplies (MoS) is considering purchasing 50,000 tonnes of sugar.
The decline in sugarcane production was mainly caused as a result of farmers shifting to other crops because the sugar mill owners in the district were reportedly taking months, even year to pay them. The failure of the government to fix the price of the crop was also a factor.
Jashumati Chaudhary, a sugarcane farmer from Pratappur VDC-2, drastically reduced her sugarcane cultivation to mere five katthas of land this year. In the previous years, she used to grow sugarcane in two bigahas of land, a large part of which has been dedicated for wheat, mustard and corn plantations this time around.
It is the same story for other sugarcane farmers in the district. They were fed up with the sugar mill owners who had fallen into a habit of late payment.
And the farmers’ move has apparently succeeded, for the sugar mills paid them on time this year.
Chaudhary is considering increasing her sugarcane production from next year.
Sugar mills are reported to be providing payment to farmers on time because of raw material shortage.
The government has also recently asked the sugar mill operators to pay the farmers through the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) and declared sugarcane as one of the national crops.
In line with the government decision, the DADO has already released last year’s due amount of over Rs 50 million to the farmers.
Umesh Yadav, president of Sugarcane Producing Farmers Association, said many farmers have once again increased the crop production, bouyed by the government move in favour of sugarcane farmers.
A record 420,000 tonnes of sugarcane was produced in Nawalparasi in 2003. As of last year, the production dropped to almost half.
Last year, 7,500 ha of land in the district was used for sugarcane farming; the area has shrunk to 5,000 ha this year.
Nearly 10,000 households in the district are involved in sugarcane farming.
Published: 13-02-2017 09:40