Sugarcane growers from Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts have decided to launch an agitation if the managements of sugar factories did not pay them arrears for crop supplied during 2010-11 within 10 days.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the growers held here on Saturday, presided over by the president of the State Sugarcane Growers' Association, Kurubur Shanta Kumar.

The sugar factory managements had paid a sum of Rs. 1,800 a tonne to the growers as advance for the year 2010-11 and the growers were demanding payment of Rs. 2,500 a tonne, Mr. Kumar told The Hindu. Accordingly, growers were expecting a sum of Rs. 700 per tonne as arrears from the managements.

The Mysore Deputy Commissioner, who is the licencing authority for both districts, had ordered the sugar factory managements to fix the price of sugarcane for 2010-11 by May 31 and pay up the arrears, but to no avail. Growers condemned the silence maintained by the sugar factory managements in this respect.

Mr. Kumar said the sugar factory owners were now stating that they were not in a position to pay Rs. 2,500 a tonne, which would not be taken lightly by the growers.

The growers demanded that the managements of sugar factories announce the price of the commodity for the year 2011-12 as well.

Mr. Kumar accused the sugar factory managements of attempting to create a divide among the growers with regard to the fixing of price.

The Government and elected representatives were in favour of the sugar factory owners, and growers needed to remain united to further their cause , according to him.

The sudden transfer of the Mysore Deputy Commissioner, Harsh Gupta, was condemned at the meeting for being a ploy of the Government to please the land mafia.

Growers Koodanahalli Rajanna, A. Devaraj, Bhagyaraj, Somashekar, Chikkalingaiah, Shivanna, Rajashekar, Manjunath Urs and others participated.