KARACHI (APP) - At least nine sugar mills have ignited their boilers while three of them began crushing of sugarcane, which is harvested from their own farms. According to a source in the Sugar Mills Association here Wednesday, sugarcane is not available in the market as the crop will take another one week to mature. I think that growers will be ready to supply sugarcane in full quantity to mills by November 16 or 17, he added. He said that sugar mills in Matiari, Sanghar and Sakrand have their own farms and they get sugarcane from there. Matiari Sugar Mill is the first mill to start heating of boilers and crushing of sugar, followed by Sanghar Sugar Mills and Sakrand Sugar Mills. Others included Tharparkar Sugar Mills, Larr Sugar Mills, Shah Murad Sugar and Digri Sugar Mills. Two more mills Habib Sugar Mills of Nawabshah and Al-Abbass Mills in Mirpurkhas have been added to this list today (Wednesday), he said. It takes at least four to five days to fully heat up the boilers and start crushing. This year the crushing is likely to continue till mid April, 2010, he added. A sugar mill owner said that relatively a lesser number of sugar mills will be in operations in Sindh this season as crop is short compared to last year. This year the government has fixed sugarcane price at Rs 102 per 40 kilograms, but I dont think mills will be able to procure the raw material at this price, he said. According to him last year too the sugar mill owners had purchased sugarcane at a higher price as high as Rs 150 per 40 kg against the fixed price of Rs 81 per 40 kg. He said that sugar mills in Sindh had produced only 975,000 metric tons of sugar during 2008-09 due to crop shortage. Sugar production might fall further this year in the province, he feared. The highest ever sugar production was 1.561 million tons in Sindh during 2007-08 season as the country produced a total of 4.752 million tons of sugar from 63.920 million tons of sugarcane.