Staff Reporter

Cane output increases four-fold, leading to a slump in prices

  • More than 100 truckloads of jaggery awaiting prospective buyers
  • Farmers for intervention by Markfed

    Sangareddy: Sugarcane farmers in the district who tried to recover their investment by turning the leftover cane into jaggery have found themselves in a soup with the prices of jaggery touching rock bottom. Farmers started making jaggery after the three major sugar factories in the district expressed their inability to take the non-agreement sugarcane.

    According to Government estimates, only 10.12 lakh tonnes of sugarcane out of 18.42 tonnes produced in the district has reached the factories for crushing. The balance sugarcane comes under the non-agreement category and the district administration has already asked the factories to complete the crushing or to take the help of any other factory outside the district to fulfil their commitment.

    Excess production

    Hundreds of sugarcane farmers in Medak division, particularly in the neighbouring areas of Nizamabad, have been making jaggery since December. With the production increasing four-fold and many more farmers joining the trade due to lack of other options the rates per quintal fell from Rs 1,150 to Rs 900 per quintal and is further sliding.

    The situation in villages like Gajireddypalli, Burgupalli, Vadi, Rajpet and Kothapalli is uncertain as more than 100 truckloads of jaggery made by the local farmers is awaiting prospective buyers. Each farmer has prepared not less than 300 blocks of jaggery keeping in mind the prevailing prices.

    Intervention sought

    Farmers of Medak division have sought intervention by Markfed or any Government agency to purchase jaggery. In the absence of a purchasing centre in the divisional headquarters the farmers are forced to sell the product to the local moneylenders in lieu of the loans taken for sugarcane cultivation.

    Medak Mandal Revenue Officer Srinivasa Reddy confirmed that the farmers in the bordering villages often find a buyer on the other side. He told The Hindu that he has yet to study the situation but ruled out the chance of setting up a jaggery purchase centre.