BERHAMPUR: The Aska Cooperative Sugar Industries Ltd (ACSIL) has increased the procurement price of sugarcane from Rs 2,480 to Rs 2500 per tonne for this year.
The oldest sugar industry in cooperative sector in the State had provided Rs 2,480 per tonne of sugarcane last year. The sugarcane growers in the district were, however, demanding steps to raise the price to Rs 3,000 per tonne.
On Saturday, the members of Ganjam District Sugarcane Growers’ Association staged a dharna in front of the factory demanding hike in procurement price. Addressing the protest meeting, vice-president of the association Lalit Mohan Dash and Rankanidhi Swain criticised the authorities of ACSIL for not considering the plight of the sugarcane growers. They threatened to intensify their agitation over the demands.
Later, president of industry management parishad Bipin Bihari Patra and secretary P Tripathy rushed to the spot and pacified the agitators. After discussion, they assured to increase the procurement price of sugarcane and announced the same in the evening.
Dash said, “Though the hike is very little, we accepted it considering all aspects. Due to increase in input costs, we demanded steps to fix the procurement price at Rs 3,000 per tonne. The sugarcane cultivation area in the district has reduced drastically in last couple of years as the farmers have switched over to other crops for diminishing returns from the sugarcane.”
Sources said on December 16, a meeting was held between leaders of the association and industry officials over the issue. The industry officials announced to pay procurement price of sugarcane at Rs 2310 per tonne as per the Central Government rate. Later, the association resorted to agitation demanding hike in the price.