Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun Saturday assured farmers of increasing the price of sugarcane after the scrutiny committee submits its report.
On the other hand, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi announced the establishment of the second unit of Carew and Co in Darshana to enhance its production capacity as there is demand for other byproducts like alcohol, vinegar, hand sanitiser and organic solvents.
They made the commitments while holding a views exchange meeting with farmers and officials of the sugar mills under Bangladesh Sugar and Foods Corporation (BSFC). The ministers were inaugurating the sugarcane crushing programme for the 2021-22 season at Darshana Sugar Mill.
In his speech as the chief guest, Nurul Majid Mahmud said there is a yearly demand of 18 lakh tonnes of sugar in the country. But the sugar mills under the corporation produce only 80,000 tonnes. The remaining 17.2 lakh tonnes of sugar are imported, he added.
He attributed old and expired machinery, outdated style of sugarcane collection, sorting and crushing for low production of the factories. The factories need more time and manpower but production is low.
The minister also noted that modern technology should be used at every phase from sugarcane collection to sugar production at the factories. Intercropping with the sugarcane variety invented by the Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute (BSRI) may be profitable and encourage the farmers for sugarcane farming, he added.
He stressed the production of byproducts in the sugar mills, diversification of products and production of organic fertilizer after crushing.
Nurul Majid also assured of starting a pilot programme to invent a new high-quality variety of sugarcane following the example of British American Tobacco (BAT).