State of the Economy 2019

The Age of Surplus

High remunerative prices and record production have left UP’s sugar-belt stranded in an unprecedented crisis

Photographs by Vishal Koul

On a mild chilly afternoon, Tarachand Sharma, a farmer in his late 60s, is sitting on a makeshift bed attached to the trailer of his tractor parked outside Simbhaoli Sugar Mill’s Brijnathpur unit. He has been waiting there for more than 36 hours, hoping that the mill would buy his sugarcane. He is not alone. Trucks and vehicles laden with sugarcane can be seen as far as the eye can see. “I haven’t received any receipt from the Society Commission for my sugarcane, but I came here to sell it because I don’t have the storage capacity to keep it,” says Tarachand.