Tirupati: Sugarcane cultivation drops to just 50,000 acres

Tirupati: The Government in Chittoor district had reportedly shut down sugar factories over huge losses and now the common sugarcane farmer is burdened over getting as much as the minimum prices for their fixed crop from the private sugar factories who are not willing to pay the minimum prices even.

The farming output in Chittoor district has drastically changed over the past ten years.
Back in 2014-15, the sugarcane crop was cultivated over 1.25 lakh acres which have now reportedly come down to about 1.15 lakh acres in 2015-2016.

However, in 2016-2017, the cultivation of sugarcane crop has drastically dropped to 75,000 acres while this year, it has been further dropped to just 50,000 acres.

G. Adhikesavulu, a farmer from Chandragiri, said, “Private sugar factories are not buying the crop for the minimum given price. The farmers are left with no option because the government has shut down cooperative factories in the name of losses almost three years back. So we are losing interest in cultivating sugarcane. Farmers who have planted this crop fear losses this year.”

The SV Cooperative Sugar factory in Gajulamandyam of Chittoor District which was forcefully shut down three years back is still indebted to pay the farmers, with the company owing nearly Rs 14 crore to farmers. The opposition party is now demanded the re-opening of the SV Cooperative Sugar factory.

Citing the farmers suffering, YSRC leader R.K. Roja is now demanding reopening of shutdown sugar factories. She said, “The government is playing with the lives of farmers and employees. It should immediately pay the pending amount of Rs 13.5 crore and pending salaries of employees amounting to Rs 6.8 crore along with PF amount and retirement gratitude of Rs 5.9 crore. Private sugar factories are earning profits but the government says that this unit is running in losses. It’s so silly that the government is acting blind.”