GAMBAT: Hundreds of farmers blocked the national highway and caused a huge traffic jam on Saturday in Gambat by staging a sit-in against the low price of sugarcane being enforced by the sugarcane mills.
The protesters, led by Sindh Abadgar Leader Lal Bux Siyal, Sindh Agriculture Research Council Leader Mithal Khuhro, Jamal Mehmood Khuhro, Panjal Khuhro, and Fida Hussain demanded that the government should fix the sugarcane rate at Rs182 per 4kg and that the sugar mills in Sindh pay their outstanding dues from last year.
They raised slogans against the Sindh government and urged it to implement Sindh High Court’s verdict to pay reasonable rates to sugarcane farmers.
Speaking on the occasion, the protest leaders asked the farmers to join forces against the defiant sugar mills and widen the scope of the protest across Sindh.
They said that mills were paying low rates to farmers and were also reluctant in making payments on time. “The situation is so bad that even last year’s payments to farmers have not been made by the sugarcane mills till now,” they added.
They urged the sugarcane farmers to not sell sugarcane to the mills at low rates as this would harm the anti-sugar mill’s movement in Sindh.
They also appealed to Sindh High Court’s chief justice to take action against the sugarcane mill owners for defying its decision and urged Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to adopt a positive behaviour towards the farmers’ community and intervene to resolve the issue with immediate effect.
Sugarcane growers have also threatened to switch over to other crops next year if mill owners continue to defy the official rate.