KHAIRPUR: Hundreds of sugarcane farmers blocked the National Highway at Gambat by staging a sit-in on the third day of protest on a call by the Sindh Abadgar Research Council (SARC) against a low sugarcane support price.Abadgar leaders Lal Bux Siyal, Mithal Khuhro, Jamal Mehmood Khuhro, Panjal Khuhro and Fida Hussain demanded of the government to fix the sugarcane support price at Rs 182 per 40 kilogrammes and that the sugarmills in Sindh should pay their outstanding dues from last year. Raising slogans against the Sindh government they urged to implement the Sindh High Court’s verdict to pay a reasonable rate to sugarcane farmers.They asked farmers to join forces against defiant sugar mills and widen the scope of protests across Sindh. They said that mills were paying lower rates to farmers and also reluctant in making payments on time. “The situation is so bad that even last year’s payments to farmers have not been made by sugarcane mills till now,” they added.They urged sugarcane farmers not to sell sugarcane to mills at lower rates as this would harm the anti-sugar mill’s movement in Sindh. They appealed to Sindh High Court’s to take action against sugarcane mill owners for defying its decision and urged the Sindh Chief Minister, Murad Ali Shah to adopt a positive attitude towards farmers’ community and intervene to resolve issue immediately.Sugarcane growers have also threatened to switch over to other crops next year if mill owners would continue to defy the official rate.Published in Daily Times, January 2nd 2018.