The decision termed a Diwali gift for growers
The Aska Cooperative Sugar Industries Limited (ACSIL) in Ganjam district enhanced the procurement price of sugarcane to Rs. 2,000 per tonne. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Ganjam district Collector V.K. Pandian and attended by representatives of the Ganjam District Sugarcane Growers' Association (GDSGA) and administrative officials of the ACSIL on Tuesday.
President of the GDSGA Duti Krushna Panda, Aska MP and general secretary of the association Nityananada Pradhan, Rajya Sabha member Renubala Pradhan was present at the meeting.
According to secretary of the association, Samir Pradhan, the enhancement of procurement price can be termed Diwali gift for the sugarcane growers. Last year the procurement price of sugarcane fixed by the ACSIL was Rs. 1,700.
Apart from it, the ACSIL has also agreed to pay the transportation charges towards the sugarcane brought to factory from a distance above 10 km. Vice-president of GDSGA said the enhancement of procurement price was a small step towards promotion of sugarcane cultivation. The association demanded the administration to consider villages as units for insurance coverage of sugarcane cultivation like insurance coverage for paddy cultivation.
This year sugarcane was grown in 3603 acres in Ganjam district. It is hoped that around 43,000 tons of sugarcane will be produced in this area. As per agricultural experts, the district has a potential for 22,000 acre of sugarcane cultivation. In 2007-08, the total area under sugarcane cultivation in the district was 7,000 acres. But it got reduced to 4,000 acres in 2008-09. In 2009-10 total area under sugarcane cultivation in Ganjam district was 2355 acres. The GDSGA is planning to increase sugarcane cultivation area to 7500 acres in next season.
Mr. Pradhan and Mr. Jena said during the eighties, around 2,83,000 tonnes of sugarcane was being produced in Ganajm district, which was keeping the ACSIL operational for around eight months in a year. But, due to lack of promotion, sugarcane cultivation dwindled in the district and along with it the ACSIL also started show decline.
According to GDSGA one of the major causes behind it is mismanagement.
The ACSIL, a premier cooperative organisation of Orissa is not having an elected board of directors since more than a decade. Elections for the posts of board of directors of ACSIL have not been conducted during the past 17 years. The last election for the board of directors of the institution had been held way back in 1993. The sugarcane growers asked the State government to fill the posts of board of directors of this cooperative body by sugarcane growers either through election or through selection.