Sugar cane crops head to Maharashtra

Sugar cane crops head to Maharashtra

With several sugar factories in Karnataka yet to start crushing the produce, the farmers are now heading to neighbouring Maharashtra to sell the crop.

Sugar cane is grown on as much as 1.80 lakh acres in the district. Water supply to the fields was stopped two months ago for facilitating harvesting. However, except Nandi co-operative sugar factory none have started sugarcane crushing leaving the farmers into a quandary.

“Sugar cane loses weight if harvesting is delayed. An average of 40 to 50 metric tonnes of sugarcane is grown per acre and owing to the delay in harvesting, the crop grown on an acre of land now weighs hardly 15 tonnes. Furthermore, the factories in Karnataka offer ex-gate price while those in Maharashtra pay ex-field price,” says District Sugar Cane Growers’ Association President Srimantha Duddagi.

He said that though the price for the produce was yet to be fixed in Maharashtra, the factory owners there had promised to pay Rs 100 per tonne more than the price yet to be fixed by the Karnataka government.

Dharmu, a sugar cane grower at Ingalagi village of Indi taluk, said that the staffers from Maharasthra factories were coming to their fields for harvesting and transporting the crop. “We need not spend even a single paise on harvesting and transporting the crop. Unlike in Karnataka, we need not pay any bribe to factory employees in Maharashtra,” he said.

Duddagi said that around 20 lakh tonnes of sugar cane was being supplied from Vijayapura to sugar factories in Maharashtra, per year.

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