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BADIN: Sugar mills resume crushing in Badin

December 16, 2004

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BADIN, Dec 15: After a 15-day suspension of crushing, sugar mills in Badin district resumed crushing on Wednesday with a complaint of low supply of sugarcane.

The agriculture manager of the Dewan Sugar Mills, Khoski, Mohammad Ishaq Arain, told this correspondent that the mill had received 80 tractor-trolley load of sugarcane.

Other sugar mills in the district have reportedly received even lower supply: the Army Sugar Mills, 60 trolleys' load, Bawani 'Sugar Mills 30 trolleys' load, Pangrio Sugar Mills, 20 trolley's load and Ansari Sugar Mills, only 10 vehicles' load.

The managements of the mills are disappointed by the short supply of sugarcane and seriously monitoring the situation. 'If we do not receive enough sugarcane, why should we keep on sustaining losses,' said an officer of the mill, adding: 'We will keep the mills running for a few days and then take further decision.'

On the other hand, sugarcane growers have said that they would increase the supply if the millers paid a fair price for the produce. A representative of the Chamber of Agriculture, Badin, Mohammad Ali Shah, said that farmers had lowered the supply because of hurdles created by the millers either by delaying payments to them or by engaging middlemen in the cane procurement.

Zafar Ali Shah, president, Abadgar Welfare Association, Badin district, said that the millers were bound to pay Rs46 for 40kg of sugarcane, the price fixed by the Sindh government, but they paid Rs43 for 40kg of the produce.

Our Sanghar Correspondent adds: The Sanghar Sugar Mills started sugarcane crushing on Tuesday after issuing purchase requests for two days.

Representatives of sugar mills in other districts are also trying to purchase sugarcane from Sanghar. However, the mill managements are reluctant to pay the official fixed price and are paying Rs40 for 40kg of sugarcane.