The sugar factories in Rautahat and Sarlahi districts are facing a shortage of sugarcane, as farmers have ceased cultivation, which has lead to a significant drop in supply to these vital industries.

Annapurna Sugar Factory in Dhankaul, Sarlahi, is among those feeling the pinch, with operations hampered due to the shortage of sugarcane.

Mahalakshmi Sugar Factory in Bagdaha, Godaita, Sarlahi, has been forced to shutter its operations for the year after processing 1.2 million quintals of sugarcane, according to Pawan Singh, the factory’s sugarcane manager.

Continuous difficulties in receiving payment from sugar mills for his crops have made farmers reluctant to cultivate sugarcane.

Government data also indicates a decrease in both sugarcane production and cultivation area over the past four years, with production consistently declining since 2017-18.