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Palacode Co-operative Sugar Mill sets target

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For crushing: Tractors waiting to offload sugarcane at the Palacode Co-operative Sugar Mills in Dharmapuri district on Tuesday. —
For crushing: Tractors waiting to offload sugarcane at the Palacode Co-operative Sugar Mills in Dharmapuri district on Tuesday. —

R. Arivanantham

Plans to produce 4 lakh tonnes of sugar this year

PALACODE (DHARMAPURI): The Palacode Co-operative Sugar Mill has set a target of producing 4 lakh tonnes of sugar this year as against its commissioned production capacity of 3.44 lakh tones, S. Palanisamy, Special Officer said.

Speaking to The Hindu, he said the crushing commenced on December 8, last year, 10 days behind the schedule. This was due to delay in getting the 5 crushing rollers from a factory in Murshidabad, near New Delhi.

He said that orders were placed through the State Sugar Co-operative Federation for all the 17 co-operative mills in the state. The production of rollers was also affected because of power problem. Hence, the company started supplying the rollers on priority basis to the sugar mills according to the beginning of their crushing season.

Almost all the mills in the state started crushing operations 10 days behind schedule this season.

The commissioning of the rollers would consume at least 10 days, Mr. Palanisamy added.

He told that the due to drought prevailing in the areas coming under the Palacode Mill, the yield an acre has come down 22 tonnes as against the normal yield of 27 tonnes. But the farmers who were following the drip-irrigation method escaped from drought, because one-fourth of water was enough to irrigate in this method than that of the conventional irrigation method.

During the last crushing season, the production target was fixed at 2.62 lakh tonnes of cane, but it touched 2.75 lakh tonnes of cane from 11,600 acres. This year the farmers have registered 14,000 acres of sugar cane.

The Palacode mill was started in 1972 with a commissioning capacity of crushing 1,250 tonnes of sugarcane a year.

The production capacity was raised to 2,000 tonnes in 1987.

The mill secured ISO 9001-2000 quality certificate in May 2006.

S.A. Chinnasamy, President of the Tamizha Vivasayigal Sangam, told that due late cutting order from the mill, farmers would experience loss of weight for their produce which would automatically affect the price fixation during the next season.

Advance planning with regard to overhauling of machinery and orders for rollers and spare parts was the need of hour to protect the farmers.

If this situation continues, farmers may switch over to alternate crops or divert sugarcane to private mills which are offering lucrative rates such as including the cutting charges in addition to transport cost, he added.

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