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  • 18 January, 2023

  • 7 Min Read

Exports of sugar

Exports of sugar

  • Indian sugar mills have contracts to export 55 lakh tonnes of sweetness, according to the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).
  • In the marketing year 2022–2023, the government has permitted sugar mills to export 60 lakh tonnes of sugar through May. (October-September).
  • About 50 million sugarcane farmers and about 5 lakh people who are directly engaged in sugar mills depend on the sugar industry, a significant agro-based sector, for their livelihood in rural areas.
  • India becomes both the world's greatest producer and consumer of sugar as well as its second-largest exporter of sugar in (Oct-Sep) 2021–2022.

Areas that Produce Sugar:

In India, there are two distinct agroclimatic areas where sugarcane is mostly farmed.

  • The states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Pondicherry, and Kerala are included in the tropical sugarcane region. The peninsular and coastal regions are also included.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, and Punjab are included in the subtropical sugarcane growing region.

Geographical Factors Affecting Sugar Plant Growth:

  • Temperature: hot and muggy with a range of 21–27°C.
  • Rainfall: between 75 and 100 cm.
  • The soil is a deep, rich loam.

Government Initiatives:

Fair and remunerative pricing (FRP) and price guarantee while making a purchase

  • According to the law, mills must pay farmers for the cane they buy at a predetermined price.
  • The basis of FRP is the extraction of sugar from the cane. Sugar recovery is the proportion of sugar made to cane crushed (and is expressed as a percentage). Some state governments further release State Advised Prices (SAP), which are more expensive than FRP.

Cane Reservation Area:

  • Farmers within the "Cane Reservation Area" are required to deliver their harvests to sugar mills that purchase sugarcane.

ICT remedies:

  • Nutrient management tools created by ICAR-SBI, Coimbatore, such as the Cane Advisor, are available as mobile applications.
  • The Sugarcane Information System (SIS), developed by the government of Uttar Pradesh, was designed to make post-harvest activities including sales and procurement simpler.

Racial equality in the sugar sector:

  • On the basis of the committee's recommendations, which were produced under Dr. C. Rangarajan's guidance, the sugar business experienced some lnnnnnnnnnnnnn in 2013. Following that, the sugar levy and limitations on free market sales were lifted.

Buffer Stocks for Sugar

  • In order to assist the industry in coping with the problem of excess output and low sugar prices, the government built a buffer stock of sugar.

Challenges faced by the Sugar Industries

  • Water-consuming crop: A crop that needs a lot of water is sugarcane. 1 kilogramme of sugar normally requires 1500–2000 kg of water. However, based on the way people are now using water, only about half of the demand will be met in 2030.
  • Inefficient use of water: Water productivity is the amount of economic output generated per cubic metre of fresh water drawn. The economic water productivity (EWP) of sugarcane in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is as high as Rs. 36 and Rs. 30 per cubic metre of irrigation water utilised, respectively.
  • Modern technology is lacking in many Indian sugar mills, making it difficult for them to manufacture sugar effectively. Due to this, the sector finds it challenging to compete with other nations that produce sugar.
  • Environmental Impact: Growing sugarcane takes a lot of water and insecticides, both of which can be harmful to the environment.

Way forward

  • For the sugar sector to be financially stable and to avoid the problem of arrears, sugarcane pricing must be linked to sugar prices. The Revenue Sharing Formula (RSF) and a Price Stabilization Fund must be put into place in order to protect farmers from getting prices below the FRP.
  • Despite sugarcane's significance in India's water, food, and energy systems, there aren't any trustworthy time series or contemporary sugarcane maps available.
  • To map sugarcane lands, remote sensing technology must be used.
  • Diversification: The Indian sugar business should expand its offerings by investigating other goods like biofuels and organic sugar.
  • This would assist in lowering the risk brought on by price changes in sugar.

Source: The Economic Times

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