LAHORE: The Crop Reporting Service of the Punjab Agriculture Department has calculated Rs180 per 40kg as the sugarcane cost of production for the 2021-22 season and has suggested indicative price of the crop at Rs225 per 40kg with 25 per cent profit margin for the growers.

Accordingly, the Sugarcane Control Board in its meeting held this Saturday recommended the provincial government to notify Rs225 per 40kg as the cane price for the sugar mills. The cane crushing season is likely to start by the second week of November.

CRS Director Dr Abdul Qayyum tells Dawn that the cost of production includes 12 main heads: land preparation, seed & sowing, water rate, fertiliser, dung, pesticides, weedicides, harvesting, transport and miscellaneous/admin expenses as well as marketing fee. But it excludes personal labour costs/salary of the grower and tractor rent, he adds.

Responding to a query about the authenticity of the data, he says an extensive physical survey is conducted to get actual costs of various heads instead of relying upon table statistical work. Explaining, he says four growers are selected at random from each village of a union council in the sugarcane growing districts to obtain their per acre costs and then the sum of the mean values are divided by the average yield for calculating per 40kg cost.

Rs225 for growers suggested

He says personal labour costs are not included in the production cost to avert controversy as there are no standards, at least in the farming sector, to fix limits for one’s salary.

The break-up of the cost of production for sugarcane crop puts the average per acre land preparation (ploughing, planking, leveling) expenses at Rs7,717, seed and sowing at Rs17,895, irrigation at Rs17,751, fertiliser at Rs12,650, dung at Rs1,295, pesticides at Rs1,983, weedicides at Rs1,103, harvesting at Rs15,977, half-yearly land rent at Rs40,000, transport at Rs19,300, miscellaneous at Rs673, and market (cess fund) at Rs10.

Thus the total cost at mill gate comes to Rs180 per 40kg and with 25pc profit margin for the grower at Rs225 per 40kg.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2021

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