Sugarcane farmers found relief in banana cultivation

Islamabad: Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Tuesday said many farmers facing exploitation by sugar millers have switched to the banana crop which has improved their standard of living.

Sugarcane planters have switched to banana cultivation to bring an end to the sugar millers who have always bought crop on low rates and delayed payments, it said.

The business of sugar mills was so profitable that it resulted in many mills which were not required, now the country is producing surplus sugar while the government has to pay heavy subsidies to sell it, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.

He said that new sugar mills should be banned forever which expansion in the running units should also be declared illegal so that its production can be reduced to the needs of the country.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that the farmers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa took the first step and started producing and exporting ours. A conspiracy was hatched to block the export of our which was foiled.

Now many growers of Sindh have abandoned sugarcane and started cultivating banana to get immediate returns.

The improved cultivation of banana has increased supply, reduced rates, stopped import from India, saved foreign exchange and allowed poor to enjoy the fruit.

The business leader said that the province of Sindh produces ninety percent of banana. Its area under cultivation is 28 thousand hectare and production stands at almost one hundred thousand tonnes.

The area under cultivation and production is set to increase by next season, he said.