Nepal: Sugarcane farmers feel betrayed

Kathmandu: Despite many agitations, sugarcane farmers in Nepal yet have not received sugarcane dues. They claim that many cane growers are still struggling to get dues since 2013 despite the assurances from government and the sugar millers.

The farmers feel that they are being betrayed by the millers and are disappointed by the government over not acting timely. The cane cultivators from various districts of the Terai staged a demonstration on December 29, 2019 at Kathmandu for their dues.

At the same time, the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) asked the government to take action against millers delaying cane dues. The cane farmers gave 7-day ultimatum to the government on Jan 2, 2020 and warned of nation-wide protest.

During meeting with the cane farmers in the second week of January, Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel, Industry Minister Lekhraj Bhatta and Agriculture Minister Ghanshyam Bhusal promised to clear dues by January 21.

Despite the government’s pressure, the millers are yet to clear dues.
Farmers still await the payments of arrears worth Rs 1 billion. As per the agreement with millers, they should have cleared 80 per cent of the cane dues to the farmers by January 2020.

The farmers again met minister Lekhraj Bhatta and shared their sorrows. The minister has assured them for stricter action against millers.

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