Sugar mill in Dharmapuri restarts operations after 3 years

For representational purposes (File | EPS)
For representational purposes (File | EPS)

DHARMAPURI: The reopening of Dharmapuri Cooperative Sugar Mill in Palacode has brought cheer to sugarcane farmers in the area. They said it would eventually lead to an increase in cultivation area in the district.

The mill resumed operations after nearly three years on Monday, following increase in the area under sugarcane cultivation.

“Yield from 3,422 acres has been registered for crushing at the mill this year. We had much fewer registrations in the past years, which would have led to a huge loss if the mill was opened earlier. It is higher than previous years we had far fewer registrations, which would have placed immense losses if the sugarcane mills were opened. This year, we expect at least 1.02 lakh quintals of sugarcane to be brought in for crushing and make 1.03 lakh quintals of sugar,” manager of the mill, Anandharaj, said.

He added that the crushing process would generate 9.31 MW of electricity. While 3.02 MW would be utilised by the mill, the surplus would be sold to the TANGEDCO. To encourage farmers’ participation, 50 tractors, 14 trucks and 26 bullock carts have been arranged to transport sugarcane from the fields.

SA Chinnasamy, State president of the Tamil Nadu Vivsayigal Sangam, said, “The reopening of the mill has brought hope to farmers. Over the past few years cultivation area has declined massively and shareholders of the mill, too, did not get any profits. Nearly a decade ago, the Dharmapuri Cooperative Sugar Mill used to crush three to four lakh quintals of sugarcane. We expect the reopening to bring in new schemes and initiatives for the welfare of farmers.”

Senthamizhan, a shareholder of the mill, said, “Apart from the profits from sugarcane, farmers will also earn money from the sale of electricity this year. As most farmers around Palacode have invested in the mill, they will get a share of the profit. If new initiatives like free distribution of buds and seeds were introduced, farmers would benefit directly and cultivation would improve.”

Dharmalingam, a sugarcane farmer, said, the crushing has already been delayed. Nonetheless, we are thankful to the administration for reopening the mill. Now, the challenge left is labour cost.

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