Sugarcane Farmers Unhappy with the Support Price Fixed by the Government

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Sugarcane Farmers Unhappy with the Support Price Fixed by the Government

January 20: The sugarcane farmers have expressed their dissatisfaction after the government set the support price of sugarcane less than the cost incurred this year. Farmers are complaining that even the cost of sugarcane plantation cannot be collected because the support price of sugarcane is less that the production cost while the cost of transportation and wages of laborers have increased.

The government set the minimum support price of sugarcane at Rs 540 per quintal for the current fiscal year, including the production cost, transportation fee and profit. In addition, the government has announced a subsidy of Rs 70 per quintal for the farmers.

As per the farmers, the minimum support price set by the government is only Rs 20 more than last year while the transportation cost has doubled. Rakesh Mishra, coordinator of Sugarcane Farmers Struggle Committee Sarlahi, said that sugarcane transportation cost and labor charge have doubled in one year, making the cost of sugarcane more than Rs 550 per quintal. Farmers get a profit of only 60 rupees per quintal from sugarcane.

Mishra questioned the government, “How much effort does it take to produce one quintal of sugarcane throughout the year? Why doesn't the government increase the price of our hard work? If the profit is only Rs 60 per quintal  after working hard throughout the year, why did the farmers have to cultivate sugarcane?”

He alleged that the government's intention is to demoralize the farmers and destroy the domestic sugar industry and production. He said, “Until the tradition of fixing the price inside the Singha Durbar without the farmers’ knowledge comes to an end, the farmers will not get a fair price for their produce.”

Kapil Muni Mainali, president of the Sugarcane Producers' Association said that before the government fixed the price, the association had suggested setting the purchase price of sugarcane at Rs 705 per quintal. He accused the government of doing great injustice to the farmers by arbitrarily fixing the price of sugarcane.

The Ministry of Agriculture on the other hand said that the purchase price is determined only after studying all aspects of farmers' efforts, costs and transportation expenses in a scientific manner. Due to the fact that the government does not fix the price in the interests of the farmers, the industrialists do not pay the money to the farmers on time. The attraction of the farmers towards sugarcane farming is decreasing recently due to the reasons like lack of chemical fertilizers and the non-availability of sugarcane seeds of high production quality in addition to not getting appropriate price for the produce.


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