Goa’s lone sugar mill will not operate this season

Panjim: Sugarcane farmers were expecting that Goa’s lone sugar factory, Sanjivani Co-Operative sugar mill, will commence soon, but the announcement made by state government dashed farmers hope. The crushing season is round the corner, and the government has decided not to begin production this year.

Cooperation minister Govind Gaude said, “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.”

Earlier, there were reports that if the crisis continues, then alternative products such as ethanol would be considered as a replacement. This had created hope among farmers and mill workers.

The mill has registered a loss of Rs 101.22 crore due to unavailability of sugarcane and various reason. 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.

Earlier many sugarcane organisations and groups met state ministers and insisted them to operate sugar mill in the coming season. Local politicians warned the government over factory closure. MLA Prasad Gaonkar threatened to agitate along with farmers on the streets of Panjim if government closes the factory.

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