Many private sugar mills were paying Rs. 2,250 per tonne as against Rs. 2,550

Members of the Tamil Nadu Sugarcane Growers’ Association staged a fast at Kurumbur near Aranthangi on Thursday, urging the private sugar factories to disburse the enhanced purchase price in accordance with the State advised price.

They urged the State government to immediately intervene in the matter and resolve the issue.

The former MLA, S. Rajasekaran, who inaugurated the agitation, said the cane-growers incurred a huge loss of Rs. 300 a tonne. Against the State advised price of Rs. 2,550, a number of private sugar mills were disbursing just Rs. 2,250.

K. Mohamad Ali, association state vice-president, said that although the cooperative sugar mills in the State were disbursing the SAP in strict adherence to the government norms, the private factories ignored it.

The SAP came into effect from January this year and farmers were delighted to supply the cane anticipating higher price. “But, we are all a disappointed lot now,” he said.

Explaining the gravity of the problem, Mr. Mohamad Ali said the farmers would continue the agitation till a solution was evolved.

Sloganeering

The farmers also raised slogans urging the State government to declare Pudukottai as drought-hit zone. Adequate compensation should be given to cane-growers who had incurred huge loss. They wanted the expenditure for cutting and harvesting the cane to be borne by the private sugar factories. The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation should ensure power supply for sugarcane farmers, they said.