With Tk50crore worth sugar unsold in stock, Pabna Sugar Mill in Dashuria under Ishwardi upazila, resumed sugarcane crushing on Friday.
With a target of producing 65,000 tonnes of sugar by crushing 90,000 tonnes of sugarcane during 70 days of the current crushing season, the mill started operation for fiscal 2013-14.
Since starting operation in 1998, the Pabna Sugar Mill in Dashuria of Ishwardi upazila has been in a state of loss until now. The mill has failed to achieve its target because of lack of sugarcane, according to Komol Kanti Sarkar, managing director of the mill.
“At least 2 lakh tonnes of sugarcane is needed to run the mill for three to four months to produce 12,000 to 15,000 tonnes of sugar a year. Unfortunately we could not arrange even half of the required amount of sugarcane in last few years resulting in reduced production and losses every year,” he said.
The mill has experienced a loss of Tk125 crore in last 15 years of commercial production.
Farmers are losing interest for producing sugarcane because of the meagre profit drawn out of the scanty production of sugarcane, he said.
Despite having a stock of Tk50 crore worth 9,200 tonnes of unsold sugar in the mill’s storehouse, production has kicked-off this year creating uncertainty among the workers.
“Pabna Sugar Mill could not sell any sugar during the last year. All the production of fiscal 2012-13, which amounts to 9,200 tonnes of sugar, is still lying unsold in the mill’s storehouse.” Ahmed Ali, secretary of workers union of Pabna Sugar Mill, said.
Most of the workers are yet to receive their wages for last few months as the mill authority could not pay them in due time because of the losses incurred, he added.
Ishwardi upazila parishad Chairman Md Nuruzzaman Biswas inaugurated the sugarcane crushing at a ceremony chaired by Komol Kanti Sarkar.
The guests urged the government to increase price of sugarcane for sake of the farmers.