Mismanagement in factories, affect farmers

Sugarcane is turning bitter for farmers due to mismanagement in sugar factories and policies of the government, which the growers claim are against their interest.

Ramakrishnegowda, a farmer of Matadadoddi in Maddur taluk, pointing at his sugarcane crop, said, it should have been harvested at the twelfth month, but now it is past thirteenth month and it is bearing flowers (soolangi in Kannada), which is a bad sign.
“The nearby Chamundeshwari Sugar Company at K M Doddi, which started crushing sugarcane 45 days back, has stated that it would take my crop next month. So, the crop will be 14 months old when its is harvested. Hence, I have to bear the expenses towards the wages of labourers, as I have to maintain the crop for an additional two months,” he said.

Ryot leader Shambunahalli Suresh, said that the State government delayed taking a decision on fixing the price for sugarcane, thus delaying the crushing season in sugar factories. “The Mandya-based Mysore Sugar Company (MySugar) and Pandavapura Sahakara Sakkare Kharkane (PSSK) are not meeting their target, thus mounting pressure on the remaining three factories in the district,” he said.

He also said that when MySugar stopped crushing last month, due to a technical problem in its machinery, sugarcane was transported to factories in Mysuru district. “But, as the move was against the interest of the farmers there, the Deputy Commissioner passed an order mandating the factories to accord priority to the sugarcane of Mysuru farmers. MySugar has once again stopped crushing since Wednesday, again due to technical glitches. Now, the boiler gear box has been damaged,” Suresh said.

It can be recalled that the State government, which had fixed the fair and remunerative price at Rs 2,500 per tonne of sugarcane last year, has reduced the price to Rs 2,100 this year. “The price of all necessary items — like fertilisers and pesticides — and also wages for labourers has increased since last year, but the government has slashed the price of sugarcane. If this trend continues, sugarcane growers will have to switch over to other crops or abandon agriculture altogether,” said Suresh.

Sugarcane expert S N Swamigowda from the VC Farm Research Centre said, the farmers should sow for sugarcane after June to avoiding flowering.
DH News Service

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