With sugar factory gone, farmers turn to jaggery

Udupi Jilla Raitha Sangha representatives visited a jaggery making unit at Shanadi near Kundapur.

The closure of Brahmavar Sugar Factory due to various reasons left farmers, who were dependent on it, disappointed.

The farmers cultivating sugarcane were in distress all these days due to lack of market for the produce. Now, the farmers have found an alternative in jaggery instead of sugar for utilising the sugarcane cultivated by them.

When Brahmavar sugar industry failed to reopen, Udupi Jilla Raitha Sangha member Shanadi Umesh Shetty, who had cultivated sugarcane on his 8 acres of land, decided to produce jaggery.

He constructed ‘Alemane’ (jaggery making unit) at an estimated cost of Rs 5.5 lakh in Shanadi. Even a connecting road to the unit was laid. Farmer Ramachandra Bhat not only supported Shetty but also assists him in the production of jaggery.

While Shetty crushes sugarcane produced by him five days in a week, Bhat crushes sugarcane in the remaining two days. At least 10 to 12 boxes of jaggery are prepared every day.

Shetty said, "It is difficult to expect profit at this stage. We started this initiative by looking at standing sugarcane crop ready for harvest on the farmland.”

The sugarcane juice is processed without using any toxic and harsh chemicals to remove impurities and quality jaggery are produced. Those who wish to purchase pure jaggery can directly visit the ‘Alemane’.

Kundapur APMC President Sharath Kumar Shetty has promised to make arrangements for the marketing of the jaggery in the weekly shandy at Kundapur.

A delegation of Udupi Jilla Raitha Sangha visited the ‘Alemane’ where jaggery is produced.

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