BAHAWALNAGAR/SARGODHA-The sugarcane growers on Wednesday staged a protest against the management of Adam Sugar Mills for not paying them prices of their sugarcane according to the officially-fixed rates.

Talking to The Nation, they said that many of the farmers have not been paid dues by the management for the sugarcane they sold to Adam Sugar Mills . They blamed that the mills officers for allegedly weighing less their sugarcane and unjustified deduction in their payments. They said that sugarcane farmers are on the brink of starvation due to anti-farmer policies of the government. They regretted that they are forced to set ablaze their produce in protest. They said that the government had fixed Rs180 per maund sugarcane but the mills management purchases Rs80 to Rs100 per maund sugarcane from them which, they said, is injustice. They demanded the administration take notice of the situation and resolve their problems.

They said that a complaint cell set up by the administration has proved to be a useless effort as farmers find there no one whom they could submit their complaints. They blamed the administration for conniving with the mills management.

On the other side, Sargodha Division Commissioner Nadeem Mehbub presided over Divisional Task Force Committee meeting on quality control of pesticides and fertilizers. It was convened here in his committee room. He directed agriculture department to launch a vigorous campaign against fake pesticides and fertilizers and registration of FIRs. The meeting was told that eleven raids had been conducted during the last year 2017 and during the month of January this year four raids were conducted against the dealers. It was stated that 1,228 substandard and adulterated medicines worth Rs1.5 million had been sequestered during the previous fiscal year. The commissioner reiterated that substandard pesticides and fertilisers not be compromised. He emphasized the need for promulgation of Agriculture pesticides Ordinance in its real sense. The meeting was told that nine inspectors in the division, one assistant director in each district, one tehsil officer, 19 fertilizers controllers, one deputy director and assistant director in each district have been serving to implement the Ordinance.

The commissioner also strictly directed the Plant Protections Department to take action against the poor quality medicines and overcharging of fertilisers. The meeting was apprised that three years imprisonment and up to Rs0.5 million fine could be imposed under the Fertilizers Ordinance, 1971 in case of adulteration.. The meeting was also told that 704 samples had been taken by Plant Protection Department during last year out of which results of six samples had been received. It was also told that 523 samples had been found fit and 77 had been declared unfit as per quality and sixteen FIRs had been registered.