December 18, 2023
The decision comes on the heels of a protest by farmers in Sarlahi demanding the government provide them with a subsidy amount of sugarcane sold last year and fix the minimum support price for this year.
Farmers said they have received only Rs21 out of Rs70 per quintal subsidy announced by the government for the last year’s harvest.
The prime minister also directed the concerned ministers and secretaries to make production-oriented policies, plans and programmes by prioritising the agricultural sector and farmers.
Minister for Finance Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister for Agriculture Beduram Bhusal, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Ramesh Rijal, Chief Secretary Baikuntha Aryal and finance, agriculture and industry secretaries attended the meeting.
The crushing season began in mid-November, but farmers are still waiting for the government to publish the floor price.
Kapil Muni Mainali, president of the Federation of Sugarcane Producers Association, says that this season’s sugarcane price should be Rs750 per quintal given the increase in sugar price and production cost.
In 2018, the government started the practice of fixing the floor price of sugarcane in a bid to end constant conflict between sugarcane farmers and sugar producers. It had become a tradition for sugarcane growers and sugar mills to engage in a bitter dispute over the floor price during harvest time every year.
Before the government began setting the floor price, sugarcane prices in Nepal were normally based on the rates paid by Indian mills to their farmers.