Amid reports of distress among farmers over delayed crushing, mills warned not to close operations
About 3 lakh tonnes of sugarcane remain uncrushed in Maharashtra, especially in the Marathwada region. Of the 60 mills in the region that started operations this season, 20 have continued crushing the available sugarcane.
By June 1, mills in the State have crushed 1,316.8 lakh tonnes of sugarcane to produce 1,369.61 lakh quintal sugar. Even as the sugarcane crushing season has ended in other parts of the State, it continues in the Marathwada region due to excess sugarcane.
Farmers and millers are worried that once monsoon showers hit the region it would be difficult to harvest the sugarcane standing in the field. Though the State government has provided grants and other assistance to the mills to crush excess sugarcane, millers are struggling to handle the available quantities in their localities. Millers are also worried that with the extended crushing they may not have time for the maintenance of their mill ahead of the next crushing season.
Meanwhile, the State government has warned mills not to close operations without crushing all the available sugarcane following reports of distress among the farmers. Recently, one farmer in Marathwada committed suicide after mills delayed harvesting his sugarcane for crushing.