Sugarcane growers urge fixation of sugarcane price

Berhampur: Sugarcane growers in Ganjam district of Odisha today urged the authorities of Aska Cooperative Sugar Industries Limited to fix the procurement price of sugarcane at Rs 3,500 a tonne.

The factory, considered to be the oldest sugar mill in cooperative sector in the state, provided Rs 2,270 a tonne to farmers in the last crushing season. It included Rs 50 a tonne as transport subsidy.

“Due to increase in cost of inputs for cultivation, the procurement price of the sugarcane should go up,” said General Secretary of Ganjam District Sugarcane Grower’s Association, Samir Pradhan.

The association adopted a resolution in this regard at a meeting held recently at Aska. Association President and former MP D K Panda presided.

Sugarcane growers in the district suffered heavy losses due to Cyclone Phailin, which hit the district on October 12 last year.

Though the government had declared a special package of Rs 4.99 crore to the growers in the district, they are yet to get the assistance, alleged association’s vice-president Narayan Jena. Farmers have got only fertilisers, he said.

“The factory authorities need to increase price to compensate farmer’s last year loss and encourage them to take up cultivation in more areas,” said Pradhan.

“The price fixation committee will consider the demand of the farmers, taking into account all aspects,” said managing director of the factory Trilochan Majhi. The committee would meet before the factory starts operation in the second week of December.