HYDERABAD-The Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA), a farmers’ lobbying group, on Sunday demanded at least Rs450 per maund for sugarcane crop, keeping in view of the ever increasing cost of inputs and crop cultivation.
They rejected Rs425 per 40 kilogram price fixed for the crop from the growers by the sugar mills. The prices of seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, fuel and machinery have increased by leaps and bounds, they observed. They pointed out that the government had not increased the price of gas for the fertilizer industries but still the farmers were being extorted for expensive rates for bags of fertilizer. The farmers complained that the dealers selling fertilizer had also turned into a mafia which first stockpiled the supplies and then demanded higher than the factory rates for the bags. The SCA’s President demanded that the government should take action against the industries and dealers by sealing shops of the latter. He said the season of sowing the wheat crop would start soon and requested the caretaker government to take action against hoarding and overpricing to prevent the common people from suffering food price inflation.
The chamber’s president said inflation had made it difficult for the farmers to grow wheat crop.He suggested the government provide loans with 3 to 5 percent markup rate to the wheat farmers so that they could grow that crop. He lamented that despite abundant water in the Indus River system, shortage of irrigation water was being witnessed in many command areas of Rohri, Nara, Phuleli and other canals. He asked the government to immediately put an end to the water rotation which was practised during the times of water scarcity, adding the growers of dates had suffered losses in 2 successive years because of torrential rains and requested the government to chalk out a compensation plan as well as low markup credit programs for those affected growers. Zahid Hussain Bhurgari, Nabi Bux Sathio, Syed Altaf Hussain Shah, Haji Hussain Bux Laghari, Abdul Haleem Memon and other office bearers and members of the SCA attended the meeting.