SARGODHA: Sugarcane growers withdrew a protest call after getting assurances from deputy commissioner regarding resolution of their grievances.
The farmers have been demanding the government ensure timely start of the sugarcane crushing season by the sugar mills and announce fixed price for 2017-18.
The growers were assured that they would be given government approved rates of their crop. Deputy Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatha held negotiations with the farmers.
Farmer Rai Farooq said the Punjab government had fixed sugarcane price at Rs180 per 40 kg for the current season, but mill owners were enforcing the farmers to sell their yields at Rs160 per 40 kg.
“Many mills have not yet started crushing sugarcane as they are insisting to purchase the crops at low rates, which is injustice to the farmers,” he added.
Growers’ woes: Farmers demand timely start of sugarcane crushing
Another farmer Muhammed Qasim Dhudi said that the sugar mills, which had started the crushing season, were also not issuing Cane Purchase Receipts (CPRs) to the farmers. “Only unstamped chits containing weight details are given to them,” he said.
He claimed that the sugar mills' administrations purchased the sugarcane on the condition that they would make payment at the rate of Rs160 per 40 kg.
“Delay in starting crushing of sugarcane by some sugar mills would affect the cultivation process of wheat,” he maintained. Farmer Sher Ali said the provincial government had asked the sugar mills to start crushing season from November 25 but they started crushing in December.
When the farmers demanded payment of sugarcane at the fixed price, some mills shut down the crushing, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2017.
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