Farmers halt sugar supply


By Our Correspondent

Sarlahi, Apr 18 : The farmers of Sarlahi have halted the supply of sugar from Mahalaxmi Sugar Factory in Bagdaha of Godaita Municipality.

The farmers hadn't been paid for the sugarcane for two months even though sugar was being sold in the market which made the angry farmers block the supply. The farmers insisted that they wouldn't allow the supply unless their dues are paid.

The farmers have stopped three trucks – State 2-03-001 Kha 3057, Na 6 Kha 2173, and Na 5 Kha 7387 – from the factory which was bound for Kathmandu with sugar. Due to obstruction from the farmers, the trucks were unloaded in the factory's storehouse.

Sugarcane farmer Ram Dinesh Yadav said they had to protest because the factory didn't pay them. "The factory had earlier promised to pay the sugarcane dues in cash. Now, they have started selling sugar in the market but haven’t paid us our money," said Yadav.

Mahalaxmi Sugar Factory crushed 890,000 quintals of sugarcane this year before being closed on March 3. The factory still has Rs. 1.8 million in dues to pay the farmers.

The factory insisted that it was paying the farmers. The owner of Mahalaxmi Sugar Factory Birendra Kanodia said, "About 90 percent of farmers are already paid and the remaining amount will also be paid gradually.”

Industrialist Kanodia said a few agents were causing unwanted trouble in the factory in the name of the farmers. Among the three sugar factories of Sarlahi, there was no complaint regarding payment from Indushankar Sugar Factory of Harrison and Annapurna Sugar Factory of Dhankaul.

The sugarcane farmers said they have not been given government grants this year as well. The sugarcane farmers seem agitated after not being paid in time by the factory and the government.

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