Sarlahi, Two sugar mills have come into operation in Sarlahi, the district with the largest sugarcane cultivation field and highest number of sugar mills in the country. Indushankar Sugar Mill in Hariwan and Mahalaxmi Sugar Mill in Bagdad have started sugarcane crushing.There is still confusion about bringing the Annapurna Sugar Industry, located in Dhankaul, into operation.
Yognarayan Rajak, sugarcane manager of the industry, informed that Indushankar Sugar Industry, which has the largest capacity in the country, has the capacity to crush 50,000 quintals of sugarcane daily. Everest Sugar Mill, Gaushala, Mahottari in the neighbouring district of the same capacity has also come into operation. The sugar industry of Terai has started to come online without fixing the price of sugarcane.
All the sugar factories in the districts of Terai, including Sarlahi, Mahottari, Siraha and Bara have come into operation recently. But farmers are disappointed when sugar factories come into operation without fixing the price of sugarcane. Kapil Muni Mainali, President of Federation of Sugarcane Producers Federation, expressed his dissatisfaction that the crop grown after hard work for years had to be sold without value.
He complained that the government neglected to set the price of sugarcane. Last year, farmers received a government subsidy of Rs. 70 per quintal and the price of sugarcane was Rs. 590.
This year, various committees of farmers have been demanding to fix the price of sugarcane at least at Rs. 700 per quintal. A few days ago, in the talks held in Kathmandu, a proposal was made by the industrialists and the government to maintain the price of sugarcane at Rs. 605 per quintal this year. Mainali informed that they had not agreed to accept that price and that they had left the negotiations.