Future of Goa’s Sanjivani sugar mill workers and farmers is at stake

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Panaji: With each passing days, some new developments are emerging related to the functioning of the Sanjivani sugar factory. Now, according to the reports, the government has decided to examine its feasibility for a while longer, as other options are explored.

Media reports suggest that, at a recent meeting attended by the agriculture minister, MLAs and sugarcane farmers, it was decided to examine the feasibility of the factory. Government, after studying the possibility of continuing the factory will take any decision related to the mill.

Cane growers have assured of producing more sugarcane so that mill can run in its full capacity. Mill requires 1 lakh metric tonnes (MT) sugarcane to run in full capacity, whereas cane production is up to 20,000 MT. The scarcity of sugarcane had affected the mill functioning in the past.

Earlier, the government had decided not to commence production this year. Cooperation minister Govind Gaude had stated that sugar mill will not operate this season. Maintenance cost for the sugar mill is estimated at Rs 6 crore, and investing such a big amount to run the mill is not feasible.

The Sanjivani sugar mill has registered a loss of Rs 101.22 crore due to unavailability of sugarcane and various reason. According to the reports, if the crisis continues, then alternative products such as ethanol would be considered as a replacement.

The government made sure that sugarcane produced by farmers will be bought at the market price. State chief minister Pramod Sawant had assured farmers that those who produce sugarcane this season would not incur any loss. The government will purchase their sugarcane and supply it to the sugar mills in other states, besides providing support price to these farmers.

Local politicians in the state warned the government over factory closure and threatened to agitate along with farmers on the streets of Panjim if government closes the factory.

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