Pakistan’s sugarcane farmers can find relief in banana cultivation

On Tuesday, the Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders said that many farmers, after being exploited by sugar millers, have switched to cultivating bananas, and that this has improved their standard of living.

The business of the sugar mills has been so profitable that now the country is producing a surplus of sugar, with the government paying heavy subsidies to sell it, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.

He argued that no new sugar mills should built anymore, and expansion of current installations should also be declared illegal, so that production can be reduced normal levels.

Already, many growers of Sindh have abandoned sugar cane, starting to cultivate banana to get immediate returns. The improved cultivation of banana has increased supply, reduced rates, stopped imports from India, reducing the foreign currency exchange.

The business leader told The Nation that the province of Sindh produces 90 percent of bananas. Its area under cultivation is 28,000 hectare, production stands at almost 100,000 tonnes. The area under cultivation and production is set to increase by next season..

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