Nizam Sugars plan turns sour

Farmers oppose cooperative farming, express inability to run joint venture

Hyderabad: The Telangana government’s decision to appoint a committee of officers to work out modalities to annul the joint-venture agreement between the Nizam Sugars Limited and Delta Paper Mills — and take over the sugar units to run on a cooperative basis involving local farmers, has kicked up a controversy.

The JV called Nizam Deccan Sugars Limited is set to be dissolved. Farmers are, meanwhile, opposed to cooperative farming saying that they cannot run it considering the huge losses involved.

They also allege differences between the words and deeds of the TRS government. “The huge losses and non-payment for the cane crushed have forced us to cut sugarcane production in the past few years. Most of us have already switched over to soya bean and paddy. We cannot be part of the management. The government itself should take over the units,” said Yadagiri Villa, a farmer of Bodhan area.

“There is a mismatch in the assurances given during poll time and the action now. K Chandrasekhar Rao and K. Kavitha had told us that the government would completely take over the NSDL and revive the NSF units. Now, after coming to power they twisted it and said it would be cooperative farming. Farmers had been demanding the handover of the profit-making cooperative factory at Sarangapur near Bodhan, but the government refused. But now, for the loss-making units of NSF, it is proposing a cooperative. Why?” asked K. Sayi Reddy, a leader of farmers who has been in the forefront of the NSF crisis.

Farmers see a conspiracy in the affair. “It appears to us that if the farmers express inability to run on a cooperative basis, the government will get an alibi to say that ‘since farmers are not interested, we are selling it off’. This is not right. Government should understand the agony of the farmers,” said K.A. Reddy, another farmer leader. The government, however, is not reacting to these apprehensions.

“A committee has been appointed and our immediate priority will be to annul the JV and reach a settlement. Later, the revival of units will be considered. It may take another four months,” a principal secretary associated with the matter said.

( Source : dc )
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