Drought in Maharashtra to harm sugar output

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यह न्यूज़ सुनने के लिए इमेज के निचे के बटन को दबाये

Pune: Sugar production in Maharashtra, the country’s second-biggest producer, is likely to fall as the state is reeling under drought. In the crushing season 2018-2019, the state produced bumper sugar production of 107.19 lakh tonnes, and according to reports, in the season 2019-2020, barely 65 lakh tonnes of sugar is likely to be produced.

The ongoing drought situation in the state could see cane acreage shrink by at least 28 per cent to 8.43 lakh hectare for the 2019-20 season, against 11.62 lakh hectare in 2018-19.

Sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said, “Marathwada and Solapur regions have been badly affected by drought, so most likely they may witness a decline in acreage.” Apart from Marathwada and Solapur regions, similarly Ahmednagar, Pune, Aurangabad, Nanded, and Nagpur regions too showing a drop in acreage for 2019-20 season. Low cane acreage will hamper the sugar production in the state.

Only Kolhapur reveals a possible rise in area under cultivation to 2.51 lakh hectare, against 2.39 lakh hectare in 2018-19.

The deficient rainfall in 2018 resulted in a severe drought in Maharashtra. It has led to a scarcity of fodder and water for animals. Therefore, farmers have started uprooting sugarcane in the severely drought-affected regions of Maharashtra to feed their animals. This is expected to hit sugarcane growth.

According to reports, sugarcane has also been damaged due to heat waves. Also, to boost income, farmers switched to other crops like soyabeen, pulses, and others. All these factors are set to bring down overall cane sowing area next sugar season.

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