HYDERABAD: The Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA), a collective representing farmers, issued a demand on Sunday for a minimum of Rs450 per maund for sugarcane crops. This call takes into account the continuously rising costs of inputs and crop cultivation.
The SCA rejected the price of Rs425 per 40 kilograms that sugar mills had established for the crop. They noted that the expenses associated with seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, fuel, and machinery had substantially escalated.
While acknowledging that the government hadn’t raised gas prices for fertilizer production, the farmers voiced their concern about the exorbitant rates they were being charged for fertilizer bags.
The farmers voiced grievances about fertilizer vendors transforming into a cartel-like entity. These vendors stockpiled supplies and then demanded prices significantly above factory rates for the bags.
The President of SCA urged the government to take stringent action against these industries and vendors by sealing the latter’s shops. With the wheat sowing season approaching, he implored the caretaker government to counter hoarding and price inflation, thereby averting hardship for the general populace.
Attributing the challenge to inflation, the chamber’s president conveyed that wheat cultivation had become arduous for farmers. He suggested the government offer loans to wheat farmers with a nominal 3 to 5 percent interest rate to facilitate their crop cultivation.
He lamented the paradox of sufficient water in the Indus River system while witnessing irrigation water scarcity in areas served by Rohri, Nara, Phuleli, and other canals. He appealed to the government to cease the water rotation practice during times of scarcity. Furthermore, he highlighted the losses faced by date growers due to consecutive years of heavy rains and requested the government to formulate compensation and low-interest credit programs for these affected farmers.
In attendance at the meeting were Zahid Hussain Bhurgari, Nabi Bux Sathio, Syed Altaf Hussain Shah, Haji Hussain Bux Laghari, Abdul Haleem Memon, as well as other office bearers and members of the SCA.