ISLAMABAD  – The sugarcane crushing has been started in Punjab and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa for current season 2012-13 to fulfill the domestic requirements as well as to export the surplus commodity.

The crushing was in its initial stage, however it would get momentum during coming few days and the process will be started with full installed capacity to produce sugar, said officials of Provincial Food Department.

Sugarcane Commissioners Punjab, Usman Ahmad told APP here on Monday that four sugar mills have started sugarcane crushing in the province as 8 to 10 more units are expected to started crushing by the end of the day.

He informed that about 44 sugar mils were functioning in the province adding that all the units will start sugarcane crushing from November 30 to produce sugar for domestic consumption as well as to export.

He informed that the mills have also established their purchase centers in different areas to facilitate them and buy sugarcane from the growers at official fixed rates.

Meanwhile, Sugarcane Commissioner of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Anwar Khan also told APP that the province has been divided into two regions Peshawar and Dara Ismail Khan where 7 mills were operational.

He said that two mills of Pashawar region has started crushing from November 12 where as 5 mills of DI Khan region scheduled for start crushing from November 28. He said that the province was producing only 10 per cent of the total sugar output. Anwar Khan said that the province has produced about 286,000 metric ton sugar during last year as against its required quantity of 700,000.

However, National Sugarcane Coordination Commissioner, Sohail Muhammad Khan expressed the hope that sugarcane crushing will start with full swing across the country by November 30. He said that crushing was delayed in Sindh province as it was usually started during the month of October adding that farmers were waiting for early sale of their output to prepare for next crop.  He said that sugar mills owners were using delaying tactics to further bargain the prices of sugarcane and supply of their existing sugar stocks laying with the mills.

Sohail Muhammad said that government has fixed price of Rs 170 per 40 Kg sugarcane for Punajb and Khyber PukhtunKhwa while Rs. 172 per 40 Kg for Sindh in collaboration with all the stakeholder.

He said that government has allowed the sugar industry to export 400,000 tons sugar besides the earlier the industry was also allowed to export 150,000 tons sugar.