Sugarcane procurement price hiked

Berhampur: Its sweet news for sugarcane growers as Aska Cooperative Sugar Industries Limited (ASIL), oldest sugar unit in Odisha in cooperative sector, has decided to hike the procurement price by Rs 210 oer tonne this year.

The farmers will get Rs 2210 per tonne of sugarcane for their supply to the factory. The authorities have also decided to pay transport subsidy beyond 10 km from the factory to transport the sugarcane.

Last year, the factory authorities had fixed the price of the sugarcane at Rs 2000 per tonne and transport subsidy beyond 10 km.

The decision was taken at the sugarcane price fixation committee meeting held at Chhatrapur, the district headquarter town on Thursday. Ganjam District collector and the chairman of the managing committee of the ASIL Krishan Kumar presided.

Besides the factory and agriculture officials, the representatives of the Ganjam district Sugarcane Growers Association attended the meeting.

Sugarcane Growers Association had demanded hike in sugarcane price to Rs 2500 per tonne this time as prices of other inputs had increased many times. The representatives of the association, however, agreed with this price after long discussion.

We have decided to increase the price of sugarcane by Rs 210 per ton this time considering all aspects, said the district collector. At the same time the industry authorities also stressed the need to increase sugarcane production by at least 50 per cent in the coming year.

The factory authorities have set a target to crush around 1.65 lakh tones this time as against last year`s 81,923 tones. "Next year, we want to crush around 2.40 lakh tones extending sugarcane area to about 9,500 acres from 7,282 acres presently", cane manager of the factory P C Padhy SAID.

Sugarcane growers, however, said it could be achieved only if the administration ensured irrigation facilities.

Sugarcane cultivation was worst affected this time due to dry spell for long period," said General Secretary of the Association Samir Pradhan.

He said all defunct lift irrigation points should be repaired, while village should be taken as an unit instead of block in the crop insurance scheme for the sugarcane. The administration has also agreed to repair the LIPs in the area to ensure the irrigation facilities.