The Belagavi district administration is considering using an online tool for streamlining the cutting and processing of sugarcane by factories in the district.
The sugarcane cutting calendar would introduce transparency in the cutting and crushing of the commercial crop and avoid delays in payments. It would include the data of all farmers who grow sugarcane and the stages of cutting and crushing by the factories. It will send alerts to growers and the crushers of the possible date of harvest and crushing.
“It has been tried in smaller districts like Bidar with considerable success between 2006 and 2009, as the years had excess production of sugarcane. Belagavi has the highest number of factories in the State with 37 units, of which 28 are functioning. If this succeeds here, it can succeed anywhere,” T.K. Anil Kumar, Regional Commissioner, said. “The tool was created by officials of the National Informatics Centre in Bidar and was linked to the grievance redress cell headed by the Deputy Commissioner. Factories were mandated to avail permission before each cutting and crushing season. All sugarcane-related complaints were resolved in one month, using this tool,” said Lingaraj Tirlapur, former District Informatics Officer, who developed the tool.
After its success in Bidar, the sugarcane commissioner gave an in-principle approval for its implementation across the State in 2010. However, it was not implemented.
“Often, farmers complain that the factories use arbitrary methods in cutting and crushing of sugarcane. We do not have enough data for real time monitoring of the process. The online calendar makes it possible. We are seriously considering using this tool,” S. Ziyuallah, Belagavi DC, said. He has called a meeting of NIC officers and cooperative department officers to discuss the proposal.