Farmers making jaggery from unsold sugarcane

- GHANSHYAM GAUTAM, GULMI

Jan 23, 2017-

Farmers in Gulmi have been making jaggery from their sugarcane and earning a good income after being unable to find buyers for their crops.

Farmers in sugarcane pocket areas like Thanpati, Baletkasar, Hardinota, Digam and Hunga have been earning Rs700,000 each annually by trading jiggery. 

Shiva Banjade, a technical assistant officer at the District Agriculture Office, said that five village development committees in Gulmi had been producing jaggery valued at more than Rs100 million annually. 

Sugarcane is commercially produced on 200 hectares in the district. The annual sugarcane harvest amounts to 1,135 tonnes.  

Jaggery is a type of traditional cane sugar popular in South Asia and is widely consumed during religious festivals like Maghe Sankranti. It is also mixed with various types of confections. 

The jaggery produced in Gulmi district is shipped to neighbouring districts like Rupandehi, Palpa and Baglung. It is even exported to Japan, Korea, the US, Australia and the UK.

Hom Nath Pant, proprietor of Hari Om Sugarcane Crusher Mill, said that his factory produced more than 1 tonne of jaggery and 1.5 tonnes of sugarcane yearly. His annual revenue totals Rs30 million. 

Similarly, Ram Chandra Gyawali, who owns Thorgeli Jaggery Mill in Hunga, earns Rs200,000 annually by producing jaggery.

“We send most of the jaggery we produce to Butwal, Narayanghat and Saljhandi. Some of our production is also exported,” said Pant. Thorga is a major jaggery producing village. More than 20 farmers in Thorga have been earning Rs300,000 each annually by producing and selling sugarcane and jaggery, said Damodar Pokhrel, a senior farmer. 

“As farmers have learned to make diverse products from their sugarcane crops, they have been making a handsome income,” said Pokhrel. 

“The jaggery trade in Gulmi has helped to increase the earnings of women too,” said Sita Gyawali, secretary of an agriculture cooperative. “In the past, sugarcane was used to make juice only, but now it is being used to make many products which has allowed farmers to earn more.”

Published: 23-01-2017 09:37

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