Farmers seek more for their sugarcane

PARASI: Sugarcane farmers in Nawalparasi district have demanded the price of sugarcane be increased by 50 per cent this year.

Farmers have demanded a price hike after the Indian government increased the price of sugarcane by 60 per cent for this year recently. Last year, Nepali farmers sold sugarcane at Rs 212 per quintal. This year too, crusher industries have been purchasing sugarcane paying Rs 350 per quintal. However, the farmers have said that they will not resume sugarcane supply until the industries clear their previous dues and increase the price of sugarcane.

Spokesperson of Sugarcane Producers’ Committee, Nawalparasi, Prem Chandra Gupta said they would not supply sugarcane until the price was hiked. Farmers have told the sugarcane mills about their demands but the mills have not reacted to the farmers’ plea. Sugarcane Producer Committee’s secretary Dhudha Nath Gupta said sugarcane production is likely to drop by 50 per cent in the district. Last year, farmers grew 3.2 million quintals sugarcane.

Farmers have blamed the sugar industries for not being serious toward their problems. In Nawalparasi district, three sugar factories have been established and another one is in the pipeline. However, secretary Gupta said neither the industries nor the government cared to bring farmer-friendly programmes. Secretary Gupta said Lumbini Sugar Factory, Bagmati Sugar Factory and Indra Sugar Factory have to pay over Rs 25 million to farmers here.