Farmers who plant sugarcane for the production of sugar in the country have been adversely affected, the unfair agreements the government has manipulated between farmers and companies and handing over of sugarcane cultivating lands to companies have made farmers slaves in their lands says the National Organizer of All Ceylon Peasants’ Federation and Member of North – Eastern Provincial Council Namal Karunaratna.
Mr. Karunaratna said this at a media briefing held in Colombo yesterday (27th).
Convener of Digamadulla Farmers’ Organization former Parliamentarian Wasantha Piyatissa, the President of Digamadulla Sugaracane Farmers Association K.K. Munasinghe, the President of Sevanagala Sugarcane Farmers’ Association S.P. Sirisena, the President of the Association of Sugarcane Planters of Uva – Pelawatta Lakruwan Roshan, the President of Kantale Sugarcane Planters Association and Kantale Farmers’ Association Indika Paranawithana were also present.
Mr. Namal Karunaratna said sugarcane is planted in more than 74,812 acres and the cost to plant one acre with sugarcane is about Rs.350,000. He said about 40- tons of sugarcane could be harvested from an acre of land in a year and the price fetched by a ton of sugarcane is Rs.4500 and the income from an acre is Rs.180,000. He pointed out the cost of planting sugarcane in an acre is Rs.140,000.
According to the agreement between the farmer and the company the farmer has to cultivate sugarcane under any circumstances and if he fails to do so he would be targeted with various allegations pointed our Mr. Karunaratna.
Despite the previous government and the present government being apprised regarding issues confronted by sugarcane farmers, nothing has been done to solve the issues said Mr. Karunaratna.