Stop sugar cane crushing: DC

Leaders stress on protecting the interest of farmers

A meeting was held between the sugar cane growers, farmer leaders and district adminstration to discuss about the fixing of support price and the payment of the balance amount at the Zilla Panchayat KDP auditorium on Wednesday. The leaders urged the persons gathered at meeting which lasted for more than three hours to protect the interest of the farmers. However, the factory management did not agree to pay more than the price fixed. Finally, even deputy commissioner K Amarnarayan also announced that fixing of the price does not come under his purview.

As the meeting had been postponed thrice, the farmers had high hopes that the price would be fixed this time. But when the factory managements did not alter their stand, the deputy commissioner and the leaders looked helpless.

State Sugar Cane Growers’ Association president Kurubur Shanthakumar said, “The sugar cane yield was 10.45 per cent this time in the district. Even then the factories were not giving suitable price. The Bannari Amman Sugar factory is there in Satyamangala.There the price has been fixed at Rs 1,950. Why is it that they were discriminating and not agreeing for the same price here?”

Raitha Sangha leader N Nanjegowda said, in the international market a kg of sugar costs Rs 38 and in the national market it is Rs 28. With a tone of sugar cane 110 kg of sugar is produced. Besides with other sub products, the factories are making profits.

They are selling the power generated to the government. The farmers are being cheated by giving them less price. For every ton of sugar Rs 3,000 should be fixed, he demanded.

District Raitha Sangha leader Honuru Prakash said, “When a farmers’ meeting is held, the district in-charge minister, legislators and MPs do not come. They attend only the meeting which they feel will benefit them. They do not address the problems of the growers and do not discuss the issue at the government level.”

At one stage the farmer leaders raised their voice against the factory representatives.

Hence, there was commotion in the meeting. At this stage the District Sugar Cane Growers’ Associator convenor Hallikerehundi Bhagyaraj intervened and said, “The factory management had agreed to pay the price based on the yield at a meeting in Mysore. Now they were backtracking. Till the price is fixed the factory should not be started.”

Bannari Amman Sugar factory representative Krishnan said, when the price of sugar cane goes up in the market the factory was not collecting the transportation cost from the growers with 10 km radius. There is no objection if the farmers themselves directly supply to the factory. There is also no objection if the pay the wages to daily wagers, he added.

The price for 2010-11 has been fixed at Rs 1,850 per ton. The balance Rs 50 will be given immediately. For the year 2011-12 the price is fixed at Rs 1,900. We cannot pay more than this. The production cost of sugar has also gone up. As a result we are also suffering losses, he said.

Finally, deputy commissioner Amarnarayan said, “I do not have the power to fix the sugar cane price. The price has not yet been fixed by the Centre for the current year. There should be a bipartite talks and the price should be fixed in the presence of the department’s director.”

A letter will  be written to the director regarding this issue. A final decision will be taken within a week after calling for a meeting. Till then the factories should not  start functioning, he said.

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