Agriculture Ministry disburses Rs 800 mn subsidy to sugarcane farmers

FILE – Sugarcane farmers of Beldandi in Kanchanpur district harvest the crops, on Friday, January 13, 2017. Photo courtesy: Rastriya Samachar Samiti

Kathmandu: In a significant move to support sugarcane farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has disbursed Rs 800 million in subsidies, out of the total earmarked amount of Rs 1.32 billion for the last Fiscal Year (FY) 2022/23. The disbursement, credited to farmers’ accounts in the current FY, aims to bolster agricultural businesses.

Shavanam Sivakoti, Joint Secretary and Spokesperson for the Ministry, announced that the funds would be credited to farmers’ accounts based on available details after release in respective districts. Additionally, Cabinet approval has been obtained for additional funds to settle the remaining Rs 520 million in arrears.

To protect sugarcane farmers, the government annually sets a minimum purchase price for sugarcane. This year, the minimum purchase price stands at Rs 565 per quintal, with the Nepalese government providing a subsidy of Rs 70 per quintal.

The Agriculture Department proposed this price determination based on a comprehensive analysis of production cost details obtained from farmers in various sugarcane-producing districts. The analysis also considered purchase prices in neighboring countries. Under the coordination of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, stakeholders, including the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply, National Farmers’ Commission, National Sugarcane Research Program, Federation of Sugarcane Producers Association, and Sugar Producers Association, conducted a thorough examination.

The recommended minimum purchase price of Rs 565 per quintal was derived from this analysis, factoring in the cost of sugarcane, a 20 percent profit margin, and transportation costs. The government’s commitment to supporting sugarcane farmers underscores its dedication to fostering a robust agricultural sector.