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Cane farmers victorious after sugar mills agree to provide floor price

- BHAWANI BHATTA, KANCHANPUR

Feb 10, 2019-

Sugar mills at Kanchanpur have agreed to increase the sugarcane price after farmers announced their protest programme. With the agreement in place, the two mills operating in the district are ready to provide the floor price fixed by the government to cane farmers.

Mahakali Sugar Mill in Belauri Municipality at Kanchanpur and Bhageshowr Sugar Mills located at Punarbas Municipality will be providing Rs510 per quintal excluding Rs35 under development heading.

The government has fixed the price of sugarcane at Rs536 per quintal.

“Both mills jumped into action to raise the sugarcane price after the announcement of a protest programme by us,” said Hari Chand, president of Sugarcane Farmer Right Protection Committee. The farmers were successful in getting the mills to raise prices after butting heads for a long time. The mills signed the agreement to increase the price just before the farmers started their scheduled protest programme.  

The farmers had started a discussion at the local level regarding price factor. The discussion was held with representatives from Beldadi Rural Municipality and Belauri and Punarbas Municipality, asking them to initiate necessary negotiations to hike sugarcane prices. Representatives from both mills were present during the discussion programme. Though the government fixed the price of sugarcane at Rs536 per quintal, the mills were buying sugarcane based on prices set in the previous year.

Observing sugarcane quality, mills had fixed the price from Rs375-405 per quintal this year. Many farmers sold sugarcane at the minimum price. Both mills purchased 140,000-150,000 quintals of sugarcane at very low prices.

The delay in getting mills to honour the price increment troubled many farmers, causing many to incur losses as they sold their crop for a low price, said Karma Singh Rana, a sugarcane farmer at Belauri. The mills raised the price from Monday.

“The new price has been implemented as per the agreement with local representatives, farmers and representatives from both mills,” said Kalu Singh Thagunna, head of administration at Mahakali Sugar Mill. The mill has already purchased 700,000 quintals of sugarcane till date, he said.

Sugarcane farming is done on 7,000 hectares of land in Kanchanpur. Though both mills have the capacity to squeeze 25 to 25 million quintals of sugarcane, domestic production is not able to meet the capacity. Farm technicians said that the production can be increased with the use of improved variety plant, technology and timely availability of fertiliser.    

Sugar mills have been providing different types of improved plant variety, seeds and providing information to use new machines and technology.

Published: 10-02-2019 08:14

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