Andhra Pradesh’s sugar industry in crisis

Visakhapatnam: With the shutdown of sugar factories one after another in Andhra Pradesh, sugarcane has become a bitter burden for farmers, who now have nowhere to turn, reported The Times of India.

Chittoor district in Rayalaseema and Anakapalle district in north coastal Andhra Pradesh (NCAP), known as the state’s sugar bowls, are in dire straits.

Most of the state’s cooperative and private sugar factories have closed due to successive governments’ failure to address the grievances of management and farmers. “During the bifurcation in 2014, there were 29 sugar factories (10 cooperative and 19 private) in Andhra Pradesh, which has now dwindled to five (one cooperative and four private) in 2024,” said Karri Appa Rao, president of AP Sugar Cane Farmers Sangam.

“Both TDP and YSRCP governments are equally responsible for the shutdown of the sugar factories in the state. The closure of the sugar mills has led to a decline in cane cultivation. Neither the farmers nor the factories are satisfied with the output, and the governments have utterly failed to revive the sugar factories,” said a sugarcane farmer in Anakapalle district. The successive governments did not release the special grants to the cooperative sugar factories, and the management has not yet cleared the dues to the farmers. The farmers added that sugarcane cultivation, traditionally popular in parts of NCAP and some areas of the Rayalaseema region, has been decreasing due to the state government’s poor support.


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