Sugarcane growers reject support price of Rs 170 per maund
October 19, 2012: Different organisations representing sugar cane growers have rejected the support price of Rs 170 per maund announced by the Punjab government for sugar cane for the season 2012-13 saying that it should be fixed again after consultation with all the farmers’ organisations.
Kisan Board Pakistan (KBP) President Sardar Zafar Hussein Khan in a statement termed the Rs 170 per maund minimum procurement price for sugar cane as anti-farmer step and urged the government to fix it at Rs 280 per maund. Expressing his reservation on the decisions taken in the meeting convened by the Cane Commissioner Punjab for crushing season 2012-13 and said that biggest and country wide platform of growers ‘Kisan Board Pakistan’ was neglected to take decisions of their own liking.
He claimed that this meeting was participated by either government officers or some individual farmers. Sugar millers were invited to this meeting to protect their interests. There was no true representative of the growers or person who had awareness about hardships being faced by the sugar cane growers. KBP chief claimed that sugar mills mafia present both in the government and treasury benches succeeded in announcing a price of their own liking.
He said Kisan Board strongly protests over this attitude and injustice by the government of Punjab, food department and sugar millers. He said the Board would hold an effective protest against it. Sardar Zafar appealed to the Chief Minister Punjab to prove his farmer-friendly policies and play his role to stop this injustice against sugarcane growers.
He said that the meeting should be convened again to hold consultation with true representative organisations of farmers and fix the support price afresh. He warned, otherwise, farmers reserve the right to take legal course of action against this injustice.
Meanwhile Agri Forum Pakistan Chairman Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal urged the government to fix the support price for sugarcane for the next season at Rs 225 per maund. He claimed that in a recent meeting provincial agriculture department had claimed the input cost of sugarcane growers at Rs 164 per maund. However, since then diesel and electricity prices had registered 40 and 30 per cent increase respectively. He feared that in case the support price is fixed lower than their demand it would lead to less production of sugarcane in coming years.