The agitating United Democratic Madheshi Front has agreed to allow transportation of sugar cane to sugar mills. With this agreement, sugar mills that pulled down their shutters for months have resumed operation.
Mahakali Sugar Mill and Bageswori Sugar Mill in Mahendranagar of Kanchanpur and Bagmati Sugar Mill and Indira Sugar Mill in Nawalparasi have resumed operation.
Likewise, Shreeram Sugar Mills Limited in Garuda of Rautahat; Indushankar Sugar Industry in Hariaun of Sarlahi; Reliance Sugar Mill and chemical industries in Bara; and Everest Sugar Mill in Mahottari have started ferrying sugar cane to the mills.
Sugarcane Producers’ Federation Chairman Kapilmuni Mainali said that his federation had signed a written deal with Sugar cane Producers’ Association over price determination. Mainali informed that many mills and industries had started dispensing money to procure sugar cane.
There are 13 sugar cane mills in the country, mostly in the mid-Tarai. It has been learnt that operation of Himal Sugar Mill in Siraha and Annapurna Sugar Mill in Sarlahi will be delayed for some time.
Mainali said that an agreement had been reached to pay Rs 448 per quintal of sugar cane to farmers. Last year, the price per quintal sugar cane stood at Rs 461.
Ashok Yadav, coordinator of Rautahat Sugarcane Producers’ Federation said the decision to operate the mills had elated farmers.
The Nepali market absorbs 240,000 metric tonnes of sugar a year. Yadav said that sugar production might go down this year due to low cultivation of sugar cane.
Shreeram Sugar Mills administrative Manager Jaymangal Yadav said that preparations were on to run the mills after UDMF gave permission to transport sugar cane.
Shreeram Sugar Mills Proprietor Diwakar Golchha urged the agitators to allow smooth transportation of sugarcane from the fields to the mills.