Sugar beet farmers in Kafr El-Sheikh demand an increase in supply prices

Mohammed Nassar

Published on: Thursday, March 7, 2024 – 12:38 PM | Last updated: Thursday, March 7, 2024 – 12:38 PM

Sugar beet farmers and producers in Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate expressed their sadness as a result of the announcement of sugar beet prices by the Minister of Supply, which they considered to be very low compared to the prices of the cost of an acre of beets, the cost of transporting and producing the crop, and the prices of sugar that is currently sold in the markets. Some farmers expressed their desire to leave beet cultivation and move toward for other crops.
Al-Shorouk met with a number of farmers in the governorate to find out their opinions and the reason for their tendency to grow alternative crops that are more profitable for them. Mahmoud Hamdi, a farmer from the governorate, said that after this year he will not grow sugar beets as a result of the very low prices of other crops, with the high cost of its production. From land rent of up to 20,000 per acre in six months, with agricultural labor amounting to 7,000 pounds during the crop cultivation period, and pesticides, fertilizers, service, and fuel amounting to five thousand pounds.
He added that the price of a ton of beets, which was set by the Ministry of Supply, which is 1,600 pounds per ton, is not commensurate with the cost of the crop, which amounts to 35 thousand pounds per acre, demanding that the fair price be between 2.5 to 3 thousand pounds per ton.
While Mukhtar Awad, a farmer, said that he had five acres that he was growing beets, but as a result of the lack of increase in supply prices, he left the cultivation of that crop and planted other crops such as caraway, cumin, fenugreek, and peas, which are profitable crops and do not cost the same as beets, indicating that many large farmers turned to cultivating Alternative crops.
He added that the companies that buy the crop are manipulating farmers, and no one is protecting beet farmers. Supply prices must be raised to three thousand pounds per ton, and that this is the fair price for everyone until we reach the production of large quantities of the crop, but in this way, thousands of farmers will refrain from growing beets. sugar in the coming years.
Khaled Helmy, a farmer, said that he is planting an acre for beet crops, and dozens of farmers that I know will not grow sugar beets again, as a result of the low prices for supplying the crop, the high cost of its production with the high prices of sugar in the markets, and the high prices of alternative crops that thousands of farmers have turned to this year and the financial return from their cultivation. It is sold largely to the farmer.
While the Supply Directorate or the governorate’s sugar beet factory officials refused to comment on the opinions of farmers and crop producers,
Meanwhile, a source at the sugar beet factory told Al-Shorouk, who preferred not to be named, that this price is fair for the sugar beet crop, because the crop is strategic and the Ministry of Supply buys sugar from sugar factories at reduced prices because it gives millions of Egyptians free ration card sugar, and that is in the hundreds of thousands. tons, as each ration card includes an individual who gets a kilo of sugar and a kilo of oil for free per month, with a support of up to 50 pounds per month. This is support from the state to the citizen, and everyone must support the industry because sugar is a strategic industry.

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