Jharsuguda: Unable to market their produce, due to absence of Sugarcane mill and market, the Sugarcane farmer of Tenganamal Village under Lakhanpur Block of Jharsuguda District are making Jaggery and Ukhara (a local delicacy made from rice covered with a layer of jaggery).
Tenganamal Village under Lakhanpur Block of Jharsuguda District is nearly 67 Kilometre away from Jharsuguda District and it is known for its sugarcane crop and its sugarcane-based Jaggery which is prepared inhouse free from any chemical. The village which is situated near the border of Jharsuguda and Sundargarh area. Nearly all villagers of this village are dependent in sugarcane farming which usually takes around one year to grow up. However, while turning this sugarcane into jaggery it takes lots of time and hard work where the whole family joins together to make jaggery from it, which is a tidies process. Without much profit margin and lack of market, the villagers are gradually worried to continue this sugarcane farming for the future.
A Sugarcane farmer, Manbodh Gartia said that “I opted to do Sugarcane farming just because to continue my family old age tradition. Due to lack of Market or Sugar Mill in our area. We are forced to make jaggery and Ukhara (a local delicacy made from rice covered with a layer of jaggery) and sell them to earn our living. Our Jaggery is free from any chemical and due to tidies process, it is little costlier than normal jaggery available in the market. We sell our jaggery around Rs 60 per kg. Subsequently, we also prepare Ukhara (a local delicacy) which is very popular in village areas. All the products are chemical-free which is healthy for everyone. If we could have been provided with some help from the Government like Market facilities or Sugarcane Mill, then We could have improved our earnings.”
“When I learnt about the Jaggery of Tenganamal, I had bought 4 kilograms of those jaggeries for my home just because the jaggery is prepared at home and is also free from Chemical processing. The jaggery taste was really awesome and good for health also.” said Sanjay, a resident of Jharsuguda
However, Jharsuguda District Agriculture Department planning to set up a Jaggery making Unit for the benefit of Sugarcane Farmers of the Jharsuguda District.
Jharsuguda District Agriculture Officer, Balbir Singh Sawaiyan said, “In Jharsuguda District, Sugarcane farming is done at Rajpur and Losing Panchayat under Jharsuguda Block and Machida Panchayat under Lakhanpur Block. Especially in Tenganamal under Lakhanpur Block around 40 Acres of Sugarcane farming is done, here the sugarcane farmers are making Jaggery, if the marketing of sugarcane is possible with any Sugar making factory then it could have been beneficial for them but as there is no factory nearby so it is not possible. However, we are thinking, to take help of District Mineral Fund (DMF) and set up a Jaggery making unit, then the farmers can produce good quality Jaggery so that it can be sold at higher rates than the available market price. Due to the present process of manual extraction of Sugarcane juice, the colour structure of that Jaggery is different. So, if the processing unit of Jaggery is setup, then even the production will be good and even quality will also be good, which will be highly beneficial for these Sugarcane Farmers.”