Sugarcane farmers yet to get govt grant

Siraha, December 8

Thousands of sugarcane farmers in different districts in the east are waiting to receive the government grant worth over 60 million rupees for long now.

Some 5681 farmers of Siraha, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari, Dhanusha as well as of Bihar, India had sold their produce to the Naraha Rural Municipality-2, Panwari-based Himalaya Sugar Mills last fiscal. Of them, while 69 farmers are Indian and so by default won’t get the grant, the remaining Nepali farmers have been unable to get hold of the grant so far.

The grant the government owes to the farmers amounts to some 60.254 million rupees.

The government in the last fiscal had fixed the price of sugarcane at Rs 531.20 per quintal, with the provision that the farmers would be paid Rs 465.92/per quintal by the sugar mill while the remaining amount, ie, 65.28 rupees per quintal, would be provided as grant by the government.

Though the mill has already made its share of the payment to the farmers, the farmers haven’t got the government-pledged grant so far.

According to Chief District Officer Rudra Prasad Pandit, distribution of the grant will begin soon.

“The grant amount has already arrived at the District Comptroller Office but its distribution has taken time as the sugar mill are yet to submit the required document, that is xerox copies of the land ownership certificate of the field where the farmers grew the crop,” Pandit said.

On his part, Himalaya Sugar Mills Sugarcane Development Officer Awadh Kishor Yadav informed that submission of the required document has been difficult given the fact that most of the farmers cultivated the crop by leasing the land.

“As most of the farmers got land on lease and cultivated sugarcane, it’s been difficult to submit copies of the land ownership certificate,” said sugarcane development officer Yadav.