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  • 08 October, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

India: world’s largest producer of sugar now

India: world’s largest producer of sugar now

  • Due to the record production of more than 5000 LMT of sugarcane, India has just become the world's largest producer and consumer of sugar as well as the second-largest exporter.

What Factors Affect Sugar Production Well?

  • Sugarcane Season (September–October): The season saw the creation of all records for sugarcane production, sugar production, sugar exports, cane procurement, cane dues paid, and ethanol production.
  • High exports: Without any financial aid, exports reached a record high of about 109.8 LMT and brought in roughly Rs. 40,000 crores in foreign currency.
  • Initiatives in Indian government policy: They have transitioned from a state of financial difficulty in 2018–19 to one of self-sufficiency in 2021–22 thanks to timely government actions during the last five years.
  • Encouragement of Ethanol Production: To help sugar mills maintain their operations, the government has urged them to shift excess sugar to ethanol production and export the remaining sugar.
  • Program for Ethanol Blending with Petrol (EBP): According to the National Policy on Biofuels 2018, the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Program's indicative aim for ethanol blend is 20% by 2025.
  • The price that is reasonable and fair: The FRP (Fair and remunerative price) is the lowest price that sugar mills must provide sugarcane growers in order to purchase their crops. It is established in accordance with the Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) recommendations and following discussions with state governments and other interested parties.
  • State Advised Price: State governments may set a State Advised Price that a sugar mill must pay to the farmers even while the Central Government determines the FRP.
  • The Rangarajan Committee was established in 2012 to make suggestions for regulating the sugar business.
  • Its recommendations include the elimination of quantitative limitations on sugar import and export and their replacement with sensible tariffs.
  • States should change their laws to enable mills to use bagasse-generated energy.

Current State of the sugar industry in India:

  • The vital agro-based sugar business affects the livelihood of about 50 million sugarcane farmers in rural areas and employs about 5 lakh people directly.
  • Following cotton, sugar is India's second-largest agro-based sector.
  • The production of sugar is largely split between Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, and Punjab in the north and Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh in the south.
  • In comparison to north India, the tropical environment of south India is more suited to increased sucrose concentration, resulting in a higher yield per unit area.

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 loamy
  • Leading States for Sugarcane Production: Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka


  • Uncertain Production Output: Sugarcane must compete with a variety of other food and cash crops, including cotton, oil seeds, rice, and others. This has an impact on the mills' ability to supply sugarcane, and the production of sugar varies from year to year, generating price variations that, during periods of surplus production owing to low prices, result in losses.
  • Low Sugarcane Production: When compared to other of the top sugarcane-producing nations in the world, India's yield per hectare is incredibly low. For instance, India's yield is just 64.5 tonnes/hectare, which is far lower than Java's 90 tonnes and Hawaii's 121 tonnes.
  • Sugar production is a seasonal industry with a brief crushing season that typically lasts between 4 and 7 months per year.
  • It results in financial loss, temporary employment for workers, and the underuse of sugar mills.
  • Low Sugar Recovery Rate: India recovers less than 10% of its sugarcane sugar on average, which is quite low when compared to other major sugar-producing nations.
  • High Production Cost: High cost of manufacturing is caused by the high cost of sugarcane, ineffective technology, uneconomical production process, and high excise tax.
  • With a daily capacity of 1,000 to 1,500 tonnes, the majority of sugar mills in India are small and unable to benefit from economies of scale.

Way ahead

  • To map sugarcane lands, remote sensing technology must be used. There are no trustworthy sugarcane maps for recent years or in time series, despite the crop's significance in India's water, food, and energy sectors.
  • Low yield and low sugar recovery rates are problems that can be solved with the help of sugarcane research and development.

Read Also: world largest sugar factory

Source: PIB

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