STAFF REPORT LHR: The recently announced sugarcane support price has created a wave of uncertainty among farmers and sugar millers across Punjab as the former believe that the price will not even cover their cost of production and the latter consider it higher that will push sugar prices in the market.
The Punjab Cane Commissioner Captain Usman had set the support price at Rs170 per 40 kg this year, an increase of Rs20 or around 13% compared to previous years price of Rs150 per 40 kg.
Farmer lobbies have rejected the price, saying it will not cover the cost of production, which they put at around Rs190 per 40 kg. The support price should be at least Rs200, they say.
“This price will cost the cane growers of Punjab about Rs18 billion. This will be damaging for them as they depend on cash for sugarcane, which is considered a cash crop,” Ibrahim Mughal, Chairman of Agriculture Forum Pakistan, told the media.
Punjab produces around 70 per cent of sugarcane in the country. This season, overall sugarcane production is expected to be more than 60 million tons.
The millers have asked the government to take the price back to the previous years level, otherwise they will have no option, but to increase the sugar price.