Sugarcane growers that burn crops to face additional fines in attempt to reduce air pollution

Sugarcane growers, who burn their crops before harvesting, will be charged 30 baht/tonne for the burnt sugarcane delivered to sugar mills, while the mills will be levied 12 baht/tonne for accepting burnt cane exceeding the set limits.

Industry Ministry spokeswoman Ms. Suchada Taensap said yesterday that the measure is intended to discourage sugarcane farmers from burning their crops to save labour costs.

Widespread sugarcane burning has become the norm in many provinces during the harvest season, despite the fact that the practice is illegal and violators face heavy fines.

The fees will be charged by the Sugarcane and Sugar Committee’s Office and paid to farmers who do not burn their crops, as an incentive to continue the practice.

During the 2018-19 sugarcane harvest season, about 20 million tonnes, or 49.1% of all the cane that were sent to sugar mills was burnt.

Ms. Suchada said that the Ministry of Industry has sought cooperation from the operators to reduce their production capacity and emissions to help ease the pollution, which is still affecting many provinces.

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