Sugarcane Stakeholders Meeting: Policy Options for Sugarcane Growers
A stakeholders’ meeting on “Policy options for Sugarcane Growers” was organized in Islamabad to discuss issues faced by sugarcane growers, available alternatives and policy options. Over 50 different stakeholders participated in the meeting. They included among others specifically: representatives of farmer organization i.e. Anjuman-e-Kashtkaran, KPK, Gur Producers Association (GPA), Toba Tek Singh, media, academics, FAO, Oxfam Novib, private business and consumers etc.
Dr. Shahid Zia, moderated the discussion on issues and policy options. He informed the participants that recently government has announced an export subsidy to sugar mills of around Rs. 6 billion for exporting sugar and that comes to Rs. 13 per kg. It shows the monopoly and influence of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA). Whereas, in the recent past the farmers were banned particularly in Punjab for making any Gur from their sugarcane depriving them of their right on their own crop. The heavy amount of money in billions of Rupees owed by the sugar Mills to the farmers was considered monopoly of the millers and their influence in the government for manipulating the situation for which farmers must get together and must exert pressure on the government.