Sugarcane farmers to protest again from March 17

Kathmandu, February 22

Sugarcane farmers from several districts are travelling here again on March 17 to pressurise the government to recover their due payment.

A meeting of the Sugarcane Farmer Struggle Committee (SFSC) held in Sarlahi district last week has decided that farmers will come to the capital city to resume their protest.

Talking to The Himalayan Times today, Rajesh Yadav, a member of SFSC, said that the big sugar mills are still to clear their dues.

As per him, Mahalaxmi Sugar Mills, Annapurna Sugar Mills and Shree Ram Sugar Mills still owe millions of rupees to sugarcane farmers in outstanding payment. “Earlier, when the government made the industries pay, they had started distributing a little amount from their dues,” Yadav said.

“However, as the issue was gradually getting settled, the industries have stopped clearing their remaining dues.”

He further said that Mahalaxmi Sugar Mills is asking for more time, while Shree Ram Sugar Mills is yet to sell its land to clear the farmers’ dues.

Meanwhile, Annapurna Sugar Mills has shut down and gone out of contact with the farmers.

Amid this, Yadav said that now the farmers are worried whether the sugar mills will crush their produce this year or not.

“Farmers are anxious that the mills may halt operations in the name of clearing their dues,” he said, “Big industries have large dues. And if they don’t crush our produce citing they are unable to pay our dues, the farmers will be in trouble.”

Sugarcane farmers are currently busy harvesting their produce and are likely to complete the harvesting in the next 15 days.

As per Yadav, the committee wants the government to bring a policy that will support continuation of the industries and also help farmers receive their payments in a timely manner.