Sugar Production Grinds to a Halt in Nepal’s Sugar Belt

March 11, 2024
Sugar Production

A crisis is brewing in Nepal’s traditional sugar-producing districts of Rautahat and Sarlahi. Once bustling sugar factories are struggling to stay afloat a drastic shortage of sugarcane forces them to operate in fits and starts – or shut down altogether.

The problem lies with farmers abandoning sugarcane cultivation for other crops. “We’re left waiting for farmers to bring sugarcane, and when they don’t, we wait some more,” laments Shailendra Gupta, director of Annapurna Sugar Factory in Sarlahi.

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This erratic operation has become the norm for several factories. In a telling sign, Mahalakshmi Sugar Factory in Sarlahi has already closed for the year after a dismal season.

“There simply isn’t enough sugarcane, even during what’s supposed to be the peak season,” explained Baiju Babra, director of Baba Baijunath Sugar and Chemical Industry in Rautahat.

The impact of this shortage will likely ripple through the local economy, affecting not just the factories but all those who depend on the sugar industry for their livelihoods.

Ditible Staff

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