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Sugar factory begins crushing

Special Correspondent

Chairman appeals to farmers to sell sugarcane to the factory


Factory to purchase sugarcane at Rs. 1,400 a tonne this year

Unit will give away four tonnes of sugarcane cuttings to farmers




Fresh start: Chairman of Mysore Paper Mills Araga Jnanendra (left) launching the crushing of sugarcane in Bhadravati on Thursday.

BHADRAVATI: The crushing of sugarcane for 2009-10 began at the sugar factory run by Mysore Paper Mills (MPM) here on Thursday.

The factory, which will celebrate its silver jubilee this year, plans to provide four tonnes of sugarcane cuttings free of cost to farmers.

The factory management is purchasing sugarcane at Rs. 1,400 a tonne, against last year’s price of Rs. 1,100.

MPM Chairman Araga Jnanendra formally launched the crushing of sugarcane by performing a puja.

Mr. Jnanendra appealed to farmers to cooperate with the factory management as the factory required a regular supply of sugarcane. “Farmers are the backbone of this factory; it is in their hands to make or mar it,” he told presspersons. He requested farmers to bring their sugarcane to the factory instead of selling it to jaggery-making units.

Drastic reduction

Mr. Jnanendra said that the quantity of sugarcane being crushed at the factory had reduced drastically in the recent past. In 2006-07, the factory crushed 5.58 lakh tonnes, in 2007-08 it crushed 4.88 lakh tonnes, but in 2008-09, only 1.24 lakh tonnes of sugarcane was crushed.

He said the management expected that 1.25 lakh tonnes of sugarcane would be crushed in 2009-10.

Expenditure

The expected expenditure was Rs. 1.86 crore, of which Rs. 1.20 crore would be spent on the purchase of cuttings, he said.

To overcome the shortage of farmhands to harvest sugarcane, the factory had organised its own workers, he said.

The workers would harvest 200 tonnes a day, and would be paid Rs. 5 a tonne, he said. All dues would be paid this year, he said.

He announced that a Rs. 250-crore ethanol unit had been proposed and was awaiting approval from the subcommittee concerned.

General manager (Human Resource) D.S. Gaonkar, general manager (Production) K.C. Prabhu and general manager K. Balaraj, executive staff and workers were present.

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