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Uttar Pradesh: In what could be termed as a sweet success, Bajaj Group’s Bilai sugar mill in Bijnor district, Uttar Pradesh, has broken all records in terms of sugar recovery rate. The mill has reported a recovery rate of 14.01 per cent, which is the highest recovery rate ever by any mill in India.
While speaking with ChiniMandi.com, SM Raza, Senior Vice President, Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar, confirmed the news and termed it as a remarkable development in the Indian sugar industry.
High-yielding sugarcane varieties have benefited the sugar mill.
According to Mr. Raza, “Usually, the life of a sugarcane variety is approximately 20 years. At Bilai mill Cos 767, Cos 8436, Cos 8432 were the very old varieties which were gradually replaced with new varieties that are Co 238, Coj 85 during the last three years.”
Cane management by sugar mill equally played an equal contribution to achieve this target.
Mr. Raza said, “Cane management staff trained farmers and made them aware of the new methods of sugarcane sowing and also provided them with information about how to treat seeds and plant cane. They were also encouraged for autumn planting also by which farmers could take the benefit of multi-cropping and the maturity period of cane increased considerably.”
“Planting was done after proper cane seed treatment and planting time was also pre-proned that is earlier cane harvesting was done mostly after wheat sowing. Factory development staff explained to the farmers the benefits of early cane planting and thus ensure cane planting before wheat sowing. As a result, the maturity period increased to 12 months. It benefitted both the farmers and the factory as the yield of cane increased with high sugar content”, he further added.
Mr. Raza equally credits Mr. Ajay Sharma, Vice president, unit head Bilai for achieving this milestone.
When asked what are the other factors played a vital role to achieve this exceptional sugar recovery rate, Mr. Ajay Sharma said, “We followed perfect marketing strategy and reduced “cut to crush” time and harvesting capacity was matched with the sugar factory’s crushing capacity. Regular cane purchasing at cane centres was ensured, and also the transportation system was strengthened to get fresh cane arrival in the factory for crush. The travelling routes were shortened, and regular plant operation was ensured with minimum losses.”
Sanjay Awasthi, President of The Sugar Technologists Association of India, believes the industry should sincerely start looking for a new variety of the crop. He said, “It is a great moment to achieve 14 per cent recovery in North India, it has been a wild dream for the Sugar Industry in Northern India. However, consolidation is very important, the industry should sincerely start looking for a new variety of the crop, the current crop 238 has lived years and we also are well acquainted that the longest shelf life is approximately 15 years. 96 per cent of crop Bilai crushed was sugarcane crop 238.”
“Factories, research institutions and others should look for a new variety of crop withstanding varietal balance. This should be taken as an alarm not to depend on a single crop.” Mr. Awasthi added.
The increase in recovery would proportionately help the mill to raise sugar output. Mills in Uttar Pradesh have a recovery rate of 11.42 per cent so far this season, as against the 10.84 per cent recorded during the same period of 2017-18. Also, according to reports, UP is set to become India’s top sugar producer for a second successive year.
According to the latest data, the production of sugar in Uttar Pradesh is 97.56 lakh tonne with all 117 sugar mills in operation whereas sugar production in Maharashtra is105.49 lakh tonne with 37 sugar factories in the state continues to crush cane.
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