Sugarcane farmers dreams turn bitter

Sugarcane farmers dreams turn bitter
Highlights

Adding fuel to fire, the raised prices of insecticides and fertilisers are giving tough times to cane farmers.Farmers who had taken up sugarcane cultivation hoping for higher income are depressed with sugarcane price per tonne at Rs 2,750 which, they say, is not enough to meet the increasing expenditure of procuring fertilisers like DAP, whose price rose from Rs 500 to Rs 1,250.

Palair: Farmers growing sugarcane in 3,500 acres under the Madhucon Sugar Factory in Palair constituency of Nelakondapalli mandal are a worried lot with crop suffering stunted growth and decay due to recent heavy rains.

Adding fuel to fire, the raised prices of insecticides and fertilisers are giving tough times to cane farmers.Farmers who had taken up sugarcane cultivation hoping for higher income are depressed with sugarcane price per tonne at Rs 2,750 which, they say, is not enough to meet the increasing expenditure of procuring fertilisers like DAP, whose price rose from Rs 500 to Rs 1,250.

Lenin, a farmer, told The Hans India that they had to meet the transport cost of Rs 450, besides the food and travel expenses of labourers who come from far off places.

With all these problems even if they still manage to raise the crop, they were able to get an output of only 25-30 tonnes, as against 60-70 tonnes, which they actually manage to grow.

In such a scenario, farmers want the State government to give some subsidies, besides an increased support price, Racha Narasimha Rao, a leader of the State Sugarcane Farmers’ Association said while speaking to The Hans India.

This scenario is not just confined to Palair alone. Sugarcane farmer across the State were facing similar hardships, as they have to bear the labour cost of transporting the stock to the factories (which have to meet them in the normal course).

The government has to pay Rs 60 a tonne as transport charge and recover the amount from the factories. Since the government has not issued orders, farmers have to incur heavy loss, pointed out farmers from Khammam.

Besides, they are also hit by non-receipt from factories of permits after transporting sugarcane. With the purchase dragging for days, the stock gets dried up and loses weight of at least two tonnes for each tractor trip.

Another factor causing losses to farmers is that as against expenditure of Rs 80,000 for producing sugarcane in an acre, they get in return Rs 66,000, at the current rate of Rs 2,750 per tonne, Satyanarayana Reddy of Khammam told THI.

In the case of Medak farmers, the problem is exclusion from loan waiver. They want the government to incorporate sugarcane in the scheme. They grumble that the bills are not being paid by factories on time (of 15 days).

They are not being paid even for four months, that too in installments, without adding interest. Farmers also lose on account of the companies collecting interest right from day one on the sold seed and fertilizers, say farmers Sardar and Srisailam.

Ryots in Karimnagar are suffering a heavy loss following the closure of sugar factories like one in Motpalli, last year, because of which they are forced to shift their stocks to a neighbouring district. They are forced to pay additional amounts for transport and toll. They also face opposition for sale from local farmers.

-BY Vanam Achyutarama Rao

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