Sugarcane growers

Fatal attraction

Print edition : September 04, 2015

At H. Malligere village in Mandya, a woman in her sugarcane field. It is the marginal, small and semi-medium farmers (who own up to four hectares of land) that have borne the brunt of the crisis. Photo: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The bank passbook of Gurunath Mallappa Chapgaon showing an entry on June 9 indicating a deposit from the sugar factory that owed him money. The money was deposited the day after he committed suicide. Photo: VIKHAR AHMED SAYEED

Ninge Gowda of Ganada Hosuru village in Pandavpura taluk in Mandya district. On June 26, he set his sugarcane field on fire and jumped into the blaze. Photo: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

At the Mysore Sugar Company Ltd, in Mandya district. Arrears to the tune of Rs.1,800 crore are pending from 2013-14 to sugarcane growers in Karnataka, besides the unpaid dues for 2014-15. Photo: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The prospect of good returns lures farmers into growing sugarcane, but the harvest turns bitter when factories, most of them politically connected, default on payments and force the farmers into a cul-de-sac of loans, debt and more loans.
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