Sugarcane farming to be discouraged in Surat

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Bardoli (Gujarat), Aug 25 (ANI): The irrigation department has decided to turn off water taps next year, leaving sugarcane farmers high and dry in Bardoli subdivision of Gujarat's Surat district.

The notice was forced by sharp decline in the water level of Ukai Dam because of inadequate monsoon rainfall in the region.

The farmers thought that since their farms were acclimatized to grow sugarcane they can't sow other crop.

"The irrigation department has issued a notice that Ukai Dam has around 311 feet water level hence water wouldn't be supplied for new sugarcane crop. But south Gujarat has maximum sugar factories. And since our land has acclimatized to grow sugarcane, we will have no profit if we try to sow some other crop," said Girish Patel, a farmer.

Even the sugar factory owners in the region believe that the decision by irrigation department would hit the sugarcane production in the region.

"Gujarat produced 95 lakh ton sugar last year. This year too the state is expected to experience the same produce may be more. But because of unavailability of water from the irrigation department, it may be reduced to 40-50 lakh ton. I think there is going to be decline in sugar production," said Babu Bhai Patel, Chairman, Bardoli sugar factory.

Monsoon rainfall has been 29 per cent below average this year, pushed the country to the brink of drought, reduced water levels in dams, putting pressure on food prices and energy supplies and imperilling overall growth. By Dharmesh (ANI)

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