Sugarcane farmers announce protest

Kathmandu, July 2

Sugarcane farmers have announced protest from next week against the failure of sugar mill operators to issue payments to them on time.

The Sugarcane Producers’ Committee has unveiled various protest activities, including obstruction of vehicular movement along the East-West highway in case sugar mill operators fail to release payments to sugarcane farmers within one week. They have said that different sugar mills are yet to release payment of sugarcane worth more than Rs 70 million that they had purchased from cane farmers.

“Farmers are obliged to sell sugarcane to sugar mills on credit. However, it has been over two months since crushing season ended and sugar mill operators are showing no sign of releasing payments to farmers,” said Umesh Chandra Yadav, president of the committee, adding that along with obstructing vehicular movement, farmers will be compelled to initiate other protest activities if their payments are not cleared soon.

Farmers have said the delayed crushing of cane this season has already resulted in financial loss to farmers.

As per Yadav, mill operators have not been releasing payments to farmers though they have been selling sugar and the demand for Nepali sugar is increasing in the market.

Cane farmers have also urged the government to ensure favourable environment so that farmers get reasonable payment for their produce on time in the future.

Meanwhile, sugar mill operators have denied that industries have not been releasing payments to cane farmers. “We have been releasing payments to farmers gradually,” informed Rajesh Kedia, general secretary of National Sugar Mill Association, urging farmers to roll back their decision to launch protests.