Nepal | December 02, 2020

Sugarcane farmers to hit the street

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
Share Now:

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 21

As sugar mills have once again failed to clear dues, sugarcane farmers from Sarlahi district are gearing to start a protest in the capital.

A team of sugarcane farmers from Sarlahi had met Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Lekhraj Bhatt two weeks ago demanding clearance of outstanding dues by Chhath. Since their demand was not fulfilled, they decided to launch a protest on December 12.

Maya Shankar Yadav, a sugarcane farmer of Ramnagar Rural Municipality, Sarlahi, has not been paid Rs 800,000 by Annapurna Sugar and General Industries in Dhankaul. “Although sugar mills say they will pay us, they have not,” said Yadav.

As many farmers depend on sugarcane for livelihood, they are facing hardship as sugar mills always delay payment.

“It is the responsibility of the government to make mill owners pay farmers, but the government is silent on the matter,” said Yadav, adding “So, we will start a protest on the announced date.”

According to Rakesh Mishra, patron of the Sugarcane Farmers Struggle Committee, the government had assured farmers that Annapurna Sugar and General Industries of Dhankaul would pay them after receiving payment for tender from Nepal Electricity Authority, but the government has not updated them regarding this.

“Similarly, the government had said it was in touch with the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation as owners of sugar mills that had closed down had said they would clear outstanding dues to farmers by selling land that the mills owned, but the government also has not given any update on this,” Mishra added.

He said Mahalaxmi Sugar Mill had paid Rs 36 less than the price fixed by the government per quintal of sugarcane in 2017-18. “The sugar mills also deducted five to 20 per cent of weight per quintal claiming that the sugarcane had less juice,” said Mishra. He further stated that they had sought fair evaluation from the Agriculture Knowledge Centre to recover losses during weight calculation, but nothing had been done so far.

“We had filed an application demanding the deducted amount of sugarcane in 2017- 18, but the government also turned a deaf ear to our pleas,” he added. “The government has not addressed the woes of farmers. It has been cheating us by giving false assurances,” said Mishra.

He further said mill owners were playing games by depositing a certain amount of money in the bank accounts of a few selected farmers who were actively engaged in protests to placate them so that they did not take part in protests. “This is an injustice against voiceless farmers,” he added.

Mishra informed that mill owners had said money had been sent to farmers, but they didn’t disclose the amount sent and to how many farmers.

Farmers claim sugar mills have to pay outstanding dues worth Rs 360 million to around 6,000 sugarcane farmers in Sarlahi district alone.

Mishra also lamented that the schedule of payment had not been maintained. “We had demanded schedule-wise payment to farmers. Both the government and sugar mills had appreciated the concept then, but they have not met any schedule till date,” he said.

Officials at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies as well as Nepal Sugar Mills Association did not respond to repeated calls seeking comment on the matter.

Feature Image: File


A version of this article appears in print on November 22, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

One more Covid-19 death reported in Dharan

KATHMANDU: A woman infected with coronavirus, who was undergoing treatment at the Covid Hospital of BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), passed away on Tuesday morning. According to BPKIHS, the 82-year-old woman of Damak Municipality-3 in Jhapa district died while receiving treatment Read More...

Nepal's Covid death-toll at 1529 with 21 more fatalities reported Tuesday

KATHMANDU: Nepal on Tuesday reported 21 additional coronavirus fatalities following which the total deaths from the disease have reached 1529. Globally, over 1.4 million deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded while the total cases amount to 63.3 million. On Tuesday, 1304 new infections were r Read More...

Nepal’s Covid-19 case count reaches 234,756 on Tuesday with 1,304 new infections

KATHMANDU: The countrywide Covid-19 tally has advanced to 234,756 as 1,304 additional infections emerged on Tuesday. Of the total cases, 501 are females while 803 are males. In the last 24 hours, 530 cases surfaced in Kathmandu Valley of which 409 are from Kathmandu district while Lalitpur and Read More...

530 of 1304 cases reported today from Kathmandu valley

KATHMANDU: As many as 530 new cases of coronavirus infection surfaced in the three districts of the Kathmandu valley, today. Of the total cases, 409 were reported in the capital alone while Lalitpur and Bhaktapur registered 85 and 36 infections respectively. 240 of the infected are females and Read More...

New mother dies from excessive bleeding in Achham

BAJURA: A new mother died from excessive bleeding in Turmakhand Rural Municipality of Achham district, on Monday. Namsara BK (38) of Nada area in Turmakhand-4 had gone to local health post after bleeding and suffering from pain on Monday, according to Dr Atul Bhardwaj at the District Hospital. Ho Read More...

Men, younger people more likely to disregard Covid-19 regulations: research

KATHMANDU: A new research finds that men, younger people, and those with conservative political views are less likely to comply with Covid-19 measures including social distancing. The findings of the study from BI Norwegian Business School also confirm that detailed instructions on the virus and Read More...

Stabbed teenager succumbs to injury in Rautahat; attacker arrested

RAUTAHAT: A teenage boy who was injured in a knife attack died in the course of treatment in Rautahat district, on Monday night. The deceased has been identified as Nandakishor Ram (18) of Brindaban Municipality-3 in the district. Local resident Ravi Ram (19) allegedly stabbed his neighbour Na Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 1304 new cases, 2073 recoveries, 21 fatalities recorded on Tuesday

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. READ ALSO: 530 of 1304 cases reported today from Kathmandu valley Till date, 1,746,330 tests throu Read More...