Sugarcane famers to get subsidy

Kathmandu, November 30

Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has enforced a new Sugarcane Subsidy Manual, which makes it mandatory for sugarcane farmers to register at the local level.

The manual states that the government will provide subsidy to sugarcane farmers from fiscal 2020-21 on the basis of Scheudle-1, which will contain details of farmers, area of cultivated land, plot numbers and boundaries of sugarcane land.

The manual also states that sugar mills will have to update details of farmers, cultivated land, land plots, land ownership, contract papers and other evidences. The government will fix minimum support price on the basis of domestic cultivation, cost of production and international market.

Sugarcane farmers have to register at the local level by mid-May. The rule will come into effect from fiscal 2020-21. Local levels will publish details of registered farmers by mid-September and send them to the ministries concerned. Government subsidy will be based on details provided by local levels.

Sugar mills must also update details of purchased sugarcane, farmers’ names, addresses and bank accounts during the crushing season along with farmers’ land ownership certificates with plot number clearly mentioned. Farmers who have leased others’ land will have to show contract papers with all the details. For those who don’t own land or don’t have contract papers, the local levels will keep details of cultivated area, quantity of sugarcane produced and details of the four corners.

As per the manual, farmers will receive government subsidy directly in their bank accounts. Mill owners will also have to pay farmers through the latter’s bank account. The government will provide subsidy only to those who use the type of sugarcane the government recommends.

The CDO-led committee shall penalise sugar mills if they provide false details of sugarcane cultivation. The committee shall also recoup double amount of embezzled subsidy from mill owners.

Chair of Sugarcane Farmers Association of Nepal Raj Kumar Upreti said certain provisions should not apply to farmers who cultivated sugarcane two years ago and sold it last year. He said CDOs were making things difficult by seeking documents even for sugarcane sold last year. “Sugarcane farmers who   make profit only from government subsidy have not received subsidy for the product sold last year,” Upreti said and added that the ministry concerned should issue a circular to all CDOs telling them that farmers should not require all the documents for products sold in the previous years.