Myanmar: Sugarcane farmers switching to other crops

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Farmers from Myanmar are shifting from sugarcane cultivation to other crops as they claim that the cultivation of other crops is more profitable. Farmers say that the sugar mills are purchasing the crop at price fixed below the harvesting cost.

According to the media report, the Department of Agriculture has asked the sugar mills to fix a price at which they will buy sugarcane from farmers which is around K40, 000 per tonne. However, U Win Htay, Vice-Chair of Myanmar Sugar and Cane Related Products Association said, “The farmers can earn profit only if the sugarcane is purchased at a rate higher than K45, 000 per tonne.”

The farmers in the country have grown sugarcane on more than 4 million acres of land and mills are expected to purchase 4.2 million tonnes of sugarcane this season. The mills are lowering the buying price to reduce their production cost so that they could compete with cheap Indian and Thai sugar in international as well as domestic markets.

“If this continues then farmers will not take up cane cultivation. Some farmers have already switched to crops like beans and sesame as they are bearing losses,” Htay further added.

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