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  • 16 July, 2021

  • 5 Min Read

Sugarcane Cultivation in India

Sugarcane Cultivation in India

  • Sugarcane belongs to the Poaceae family of true grasses. It is a tropical and perennial grass which attains a length of 10 to 20 feet. A single plant of sugarcane has ‘many stems’ in a tuft.
  • Since ancient times, Sugar has been produced in the local units in India using traditional Khandsari process.
  • Modern Sugar making was introduced in India probably by Dutch.
  • The first Sugar Mill was started in India in Bihar in 1903; followed by another unit in 1904 in Uttar Pradesh.
  • By mid of the 20th century Sugar Industry expanded and before India’s independence there were 138 sugar mills in India.

Geographical Conditions of Growth:

  • It is a tropical as well as sub-tropical crop.
  • Sugarcane in North India is of the sub-tropical variety and has low sugar content. Also, sugar factories have to remain shut in the winter seasons in North India. Also, sugarcane juice begins to dry up because of the long dry season in north India.
  • Sugarcane in South India is of the tropical variety and has high sugar content and high yield.
  • It grows well in hot and humid climates with a temperature of 21°C to 27°C and an annual rainfall of 75-100cm.
  • Medium and heavy soils where irrigation facilities are available are ideal for its cultivation.
  • It can be grown on a variety of soils and needs manual labour from the time of sowing to harvesting.
  • It is a long maturing crop planted between February and April. Harvesting begins in October and November.
  • It is a soil-exhausting crop and thus needs regular application of manure or fertilisers.

Important Producing Areas:

  • India is considered the original homeland of sugarcane and has the largest area under sugarcane in the world.
  • India is the second largest producer of sugarcane only after Brazil.
  • The major sugarcane-producing states are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana.

North-South Divide in India’s sugar industry

  • Three distinct belts of sugarcane cultivation can be identified.
  • The Sutlej-Ganga plain from Punjab to Bihar contains 51 per cent of the total area and 60 per cent of the country’s total production.
  • The black soil belt from Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu along the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.
  • Coastal Andhra and the Krishna Valley.


Click here to Read More on Sugar Industry in India and associated Problems

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