The decision came after a meeting of top officials of the Vellore, Ambur, Tirupattur, Alanganallur (Madurai), Dharmapuri and Harur mills, that was held in Chennai in the presence of the concerned Minister on Wednesday.
Official sources said Vellore mill’s cane tonnage doubled to nearly 85,000 tonnes this year from 47,000 tonnes during the last crushing season. This was attributed to the efforts of mill chairman M Anandan, who personally interacted with ministers concerned to ensure that arrears were disbursed properly to cane farmers.Farmers attached to Polur and Tiruvannamalai sugar mills had also demanded that their yield should be diverted to the Vellore facility in the last season.
Official sources revealed that the mill’s registered cane tonnage could be further augmented if the State government comes through with the promised Palar-Thenpennai river link. The meeting, which was attended by representative of six mills from across the state, decided that diverted canes would be routed to Vellore and Harur cooperative units. With the crushing season to commence in little over a month, officials are involved in cleaning and repairing the huge rollers to avoid breakdowns. Mill officials said they would encourage farmers to opt for the Punjab based pit cane planting method as the three acres planted on the mill premises – on a trial basis - was expected to provide a yield of 70 tonnes per acre as against the usual yield of 35 – 40 tonnes through the normal row planting method.
With some progressive farmers in Ranipet district already opting for this planting method, December (when standing cane will be harvested) will reveal if farmers’ hopes are being realised.