The govt and mill owners told to clear farmers' dues by August 5


The Sugarcane Farmers Struggle Committee today threatened to launch an agitation if the government and mill owners did not clear their dues amounting to Rs 400 million by August 5.

According to the Coordinator of the Sugarcane Farmers Struggle Committee, Rakesh Mishra, farmers in some districts had not been able to get payment for the sugarcane that they had sold in the past four years. He said the government had provided Rs 65 per quintal to farmers and sugar mills were supposed to pay Rs 471 per quintal, meaning that sugarcane farmers should have got Rs 536 per quintal from mill owners, but they got only Rs 500 per quintal.

Mishra said mill owners falsely claimed that sugarcane farmers agreed to receive only Rs 500 per quintal. He said sugarcane farmers had initially claimed that Rs 900 million was due to them. The government told sugarcane farmers that they should claim only Rs 650 million and 250 million rupees should be deemed disputed amount.

Mishra said that the government wanted time to investigate the disputed Rs 250 million and when the government prepared its report after 120 days last year, it did not mention anything about the disputed amount. He said they wanted to launch an agitation earlier, but could not do so due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Mishra, farmers from Sarlahi, Nawalparasi (East), Nawalparasi (West), and Rautahat were badly affected as they had not been able to get their dues.

Coordinator of Sugarcane Farmers Association of Nepal Raj Kumar Uprety said farmers were demotivated to cultivate sugarcane as mill operators were not paying them on time. He said sugarcane farmers were not getting government subsidy and fertilisers on time. In comparison to previous years, cultivation of sugarcane had decreased by almost 50 per cent.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 30 2021, of The Himalayan Times.