Growers and sugar millers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have appreciated the Economic Co-ordination Council (ECC) decision for allowing the export of the surplus sugar and Rs 150 per 40kg increase in the support price of wheat. The stakeholders are jubilant on the decision and terming it another farmers’ friendly decision of the democratically elected government.
The federal government has announced 14.3 percent increase in the support of price of 40kg wheat taking it from Rs 1050 to Rs 1,200. Similarly, the ECC has also allowed the export of 400,000 tons of sugar. The decisions of the democratically elected is attracting appreciations not only from farmers and millers, but also from the common man, saying the measures will encourage bringing maximum agricultural land under the cultivation of wheat and sugarcane in the country.
Talking to this scribe Murad Ali Khan, a leader of a growers’ association in fertile district Charsadda, he appreciated the decisions, adding it will prove beneficial for both growers and sugar millers. He said that the present government since coming into power had consecutively increased the support price of wheat, which had ushered better results.
He said that due to the pro-farmers policies, the country which few years backing was importing wheat and sugar is now exporting both commodities and earning foreign exchange for the country. He was very appreciative of the decision of allowing export of sugar and termed it in the benefit of both country and nation. Murad Ali Khan said that increase in the price of support price of wheat and allowing of sugar export will not only improve the socio-economic conditions of farmers, but will also stabilises the financial viability of sugar industry in the country.
In this connection, when this scribe contacted a senior official of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA), Iskindar Khan, he said that they have demanded the permission in May 2012 when price of the commodity in international market was ranging from $700 to 800 per ton, but now the rate is just 515 dollar per ton.
He said that there was 1.2 metric ton surplus sugar in the country and they have to export 500-600 ton and payment of the earned amount to growers should be made conditional for the export. Another grower, Inayat Khan also appreciated the decision, adding it will increase domestic production of both commodities and strengthen the national economy. He further said that the decision will help bring maximum area under cultivation and the country will come into position of exporting wheat and wheat products.
Talehmand Khan, a manager at Khazana Sugar Mills (KSM), Peshawar welcomed the decision of allowing the export of 400,000 sugar, adding it will benefit both sugar mills and growers. He said that the decision will bring positive impact on the socio-economic conditions of farming community and will guarantee sufficient supply of sugar for domestic needs.
He said that last year, sugar mills 500,000 ton sugar against domestic demand of 44,00,000 ton. He said that the surplus sugar that was lying in the godowns of sugar mills will now be exported to earn foreign exchange. He said that this year, the country is likely to produce 1.6 metric ton surplus sugar. The export of sugar, he said will enable the mills to make payments to growers on time.