LAHORE - The Farmers Association Pakistan (FAP) Standing Committee on Sugarcane in a meeting held on Thursday strongly protested against the decision of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association to start crushing after Eid-ul-Azha. Convener of the Committee Malik Zafar Iqbal Khokhar said that late crushing will cause losses to farmers, as their season for next crop will be reduced. He demanded the PSMA to start crushing immediately. He said that the millers are delaying crushing, as they want the present sugar shortage situation to continue so that the commodity price go up more. There is no shortage of sugarcane and present quantity is sufficient to start crushing, he added. He said that in case of timely start of crushing, arrival of fresh sugar in the market will be possible, reducing the prices of sugar. He said that farmers will be able to sow wheat well in time, which will result an increase of 5 maund per acre and government will achieve its wheat production target easily. Tariq Bucha, the Chief Coordinator of FAP while talking to TheNation said that presently the sugarcane support price fixed by the government is Rs 125 per maund but the millers are buying it at Rs 120 per maund from the growers. Due to early crushing the banks will also benefit by getting back their loans from sugar mills. He demanded the government to pressurize sugar mills to start crushing immediately. He said that all previous dues of more than Rs 10 billion to farmer should be cleared immediately by the millers.The Committee also protested against decision of the government for not giving subsidies on agri inputs i.e., electricity, fertilizers and diesel, the rates of which are increasing day by day.