SRA pushes delayed milling season | Inquirer Business

SRA pushes delayed milling season

MANILA  -Delaying the sugar milling season to September could mean an additional P700 million worth of income for sugarcane farmers, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said on Tuesday, despite calls from farmers and planters to allow them to harvest a month earlier.

In an interview with reporters, SRA acting administrator Pablo Luis Azcona explained that starting the milling season on Sept. 1 was “based on science, weather patterns, and the maturity of sugarcanes.”

“We should always respect the science behind it,” he said, saying the country usually sees heavy rainfall in August.


On Monday, the Sugar Council, a group composed of planters’ and farmers’ federations, urged the SRA to start the sugar milling season in August, saying that around 400,000 tons of ratoon plants were now mature and delaying their harvest to September could cause them to become overripe.


READ: Sugar farmers, planters seek early start of milling

Mills need the SRA’s approval before they may start milling, as any sugar produced by an unsanctioned mill will be deemed illegal and therefore cannot be sold to traders.

The Sugar Council further said farmers were able to mill 432,356 tons of sugar in August last year to support the government’s call to start milling a month early to address supply shortage.

However, Azcona pointed out that last year’s early milling resulted in at least P700 million in income losses for farmers, as prices back then were low.

According to the SRA official, simulations showed that farmers only earned P1.8 billion from the sugar milled in August last year with farmgate prices averaging P2,800 per 50-kilogram bag.

If the more than 432,000 tons of sugar were milled in September, Azcona said, the farmers could have instead earned P2.5 billion with the farmgate price at P3,300 per 50-kg bag.


“It’s a big difference of P700 million especially since people who milled in August [last year] are our small farmer beneficiaries. Based on hectarage, that’s about 5,750 farmers. They lost the opportunity to earn more,” Azcona explained.

Consequently, milling season ended in April this year, which is earlier than the traditional May to June. INQ

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: Business, milling, SRA, sugar

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.