Agri dept proposes Rs225 price for 40 kg sugarcane

 
October 17, 2021

LAHORE : Punjab Agriculture Department has proposed Rs225 price for 40 kg sugarcane during the first meeting of Sugarcane Control Board amid protest of farmers and millers.The farmer organisation...

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LAHORE : Punjab Agriculture Department has proposed Rs225 price for 40 kg sugarcane during the first meeting of Sugarcane Control Board amid protest of farmers and millers.

The farmer organisation protested against, what they called, anti-farmers policies of both government and the sugar mill owners. On the other hand, sugar mill owners did not participate in the meeting of Sugarcane Control Board, which held here on Saturday under the chairmanship of Zaman Wattoo, Sugarcane Commission, Punjab.

The reconstituted Punjab Sugarcane Control Board met here with the mandate of monitoring crushing season 2021-22 while safeguarding interest of growers and fixing of the sugarcane minimum purchase price. In addition to DG Agriculture (Extension), Dr Anjum Ali Buttar and Director Industries and Mineral Development department as its members, a growers’ representative from the area of each mill as well as one each representative of all the 40 sugar mills working in the province besides nominated as members of the board. Against the official proposed minimum sugarcane price of Rs225 per 40 kg, which is to be paid by sugar mill owners to farmers, the participating farmer representatives have different view. They demanded of the government to increase sugarcane price for 2021-22 season to Rs 300 per 40 kg keeping in view what they called unbearable surge in cost of input. The price of diesel, electricity tariff, fertilizer price, labour cost, everything went through the roof, making agriculture unviable for the farmers, they lamented.

Hence, farmer representatives present in the meeting called for substantial increase minima sugarcane price. Moreover, they urged for timely payments to growers by the sugar mills. Echoing same concerns, many members of Kissan Board Pakistan (KBP) staged a demonstration outside the meeting place. Speaking on the occasion, Central President KBP, Chaudhry Shaukat Ali Chadhar alleged that the government’s anti-farmer decisions favored sugar mill mafia. He said that true representatives of farmers are not being invited to attend board meeting. He also asked the government to fix sugarcane price at Rs 300 per 40 kg. KBP leader also warned the government to force mill owners to run crushing season from November 1 otherwise they would call a nationwide protest. Meanwhile, no representative of sugar mills attended meeting of sugarcane control board in protest. The central leaders of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association announced that they would not participate in the meeting in protest as government resorted to arresting top management of several mills.



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