By Our Correspondent, Bhairahawa, Jan. 21: Hundreds of sugarcane farmers of Kapilvastu district are waiting to receive the government-pledged grant.
Six years ago, the government had promised to provide the grant aiming to encourage the sugarcane famers.
The disheartened farmers have warned to stage protest if the government remained indifferent toward their issue.
Sugarcane farmers of Kapilbastu are yet to get payment of worth Rs. 24.8 million for their sugarcane, said Anup Kumar Chaudhary, chair of Farmer’s Association.
During the fiscal year 2071/72 B.S, the farmers of the western Kapilbastu were pledged to get grant of Rs. 25 in each quintal of sugarcane which they sold to Mahalaxmi Sugar Mill, said Chaudhary.
He warned to stage protest if the government did not provide the grant.
Earlier, in the first week of January, the association submitted memorandum to the Home Ministry, Finance Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, Ministry for Industry and Mahalaxmi Sugar Mill under the federal government, demanding to provide the grant as pledged.
The farmers of the district have sold their sugarcane to the Mahalaxmi Sugar Mill, however the mill didn’t pay them the price as set by the government.
The government had fixed the price of sugarcane at Rs. 461 per quintal, said Chaudhary adding that however the mill had only paid Rs. 436 per quintal.
This had caused a big dispute between the mill owner and farmers, he added.
Following the dispute, the government had promised to pay Rs. 25 for each quintal of sugarcane as grant, said Chaudhary.
Since the government has failed to provide the grant, the farmers were forced to stage protest every year demanding for the early payment of their grant.
According to him, beside the grant, the farmers of the eastern district were yet to get Rs. 20 million from the owner of the mill Birendra Kanaudiya.
The farmers haven’t got the government-pledged grant so far.
He further said every time when they reached the Agriculture Ministry for government-pledged grant, they were sent back with different excuses.
“Either they tell us that the Ministry of Finance is yet to release the budget or said that the mill had not issued the documents needed to handover the grant,” he added.
Kanaudiya is also the State Assembly member.
The farmers were further victimized, after the Mahalaxmi Sugar Mill shifted from the western Kapilvastu. The mill was shifted to Sarlahi.
Since there is no sugar mill in the district, the sugarcane crushers operated in the district have been taking advantage, said Chaudhary. There are more than 300 sugarcane crusher in the district.
According to him, these sugarcane (sakkhar) mills have been haphazardly fixing price of sugarcane. The farmer have not been able to get the price as fixed by the government.