Telangana

Farmers forced to transport sugarcane to other mills

Farmers transporting sugarcane on bullock carts to sugar mills at Sangareddy.   | Photo Credit: Mohd Arif

The fate of sugarcane farmers in Zaheerabad area is back to square one despite intervention by Finance Minister T. Harish Rao, Collector M. Hanumantha Rao and officials of the Sugarcane Department.

Trident Sugars, which has been running a sugar mill on the outskirts of the Zaheerabad town, has to pay arrears of about ₹ 12.69 crore to the farmers. With the dues pending for years it has become an herculean task for the small and marginal farmers to meet family expenditure. Being in the mid of corona pandemic it has become difficult for the farmer to even get hand loans as everyone is facing similar problems.

Mr. Harish Rao held a series of meetings with the representatives of the management of Trident Sugars to address the issue and has given them an opportunity to clear the dues five or six times. The management reportedly failed to keep even the written commitment given to the officials. The issue has not yet been addressed and is presently before the High Court.

Meanwhile, in the current season the farmers have grown sugarcane in about 15,000 acres. As the Trident Sugars had failed to start crushing the farmers have chosen to move their produce to other places. The sugarcane is being transported to more than 10 factories, including that in Sangareddy, Kamareddy and Nizamsagar in the State and Bidar in Karnataka and some other mills in Maharashtra.

Many farmers have sold their produce to agents who will pay a little lower than the market rate.

“The agents offer between ₹ 2,150 to ₹ 2,300 per tonne whereas at the mill the farmer can get about ₹2,400 per tonne. Here the farmer get relieved from the burden of transporting the crop to the mill. Hence, the farmers have preferred to sell the produce to agents,” said a farmer, who is involved in the farmers getting their arrears from Trident Sugars.

Meanwhile, it is reported that Trident Sugars has released ₹ 28.1 lakh as part of arrears payment to the farmers.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 3:10:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/farmers-forced-to-transport-sugarcane-to-other-mills/article33521455.ece

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