Kendrapara: Cane growers switching to other crops

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Kendrapara: The sugarcane cultivators from Kendrapara district are turning away from sugarcane cultivation as the sugar mills in the district have been closed. This has led to a decline in cultivation area in the region.

Three decades ago, once a major cash crop in the region was grown over 15,000 hectares of area. Now the area under cane cultivation has been reduced to 5000 hectares. Marsaghai, Pattamundai, Rajkanika, Mahakalapada, Garadapur, Aul and Derabishi are the blocks where cash crop was grown in the region.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during the election campaign had promised of setting up of sugar mill in the district but nothing has been done in this regard post-election, said Umesh Chandra Singh, president, district unit of Krusak Sabha.

Chief District Agriculture Officer Ashok Mahasuar said that the closure of the sugar mills and lack of marketing have led to the decline in sugarcane cultivation in Kendrapara.

Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain informed the state Assembly replying over a question that the two out of the eight sugar mills in the state are operating. Odisha requires about 2.21 lakh metric tonne of sugar every year.

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