Flood effect: Maharashtra’s sugar output to go down; price may pick up

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Kolhapur: Heavy rain in Pune, Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur districts, the sugar belt of Maharashtra, have majorly hit the sugarcane crops. And now, the data gathered from State Agriculture Department and Sugar Commissioner office show 570 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of cane from 8.43 lakh hectares will be available for crushing season 2019-20.

According to the reports, monsoon rains wreaked havoc in parts of Maharashtra, following which more than 4.7 lakh people being shifted to relief camps.

The flood had damaged crops on several thousand hectares in the region. Like other crops, excessive waterlogging caused damage to sugarcane. With the harm to sugarcane, it may also impact the sugar output in the state. The state’s sugar production was expected to be around 70 to 75 lakh tonne in the crushing season 2019-2020, but experts believe it may fall to 12 to 15 per cent after the flood. It will also impact the crushing period due to less availability of sugarcane. It is anticipated that crushing period will be reduced from 160 days to 130 days.

Our ground reporters are trying to assess the harm to sugarcane crops. Once, the proper assessment comes after water level recedes, it will give a clear picture of how much impact flood caused to cane and its repercussions on sugar output in the state. It is also likely that due to fall in production, sugar prices in the market may pick up.

Speaking about the sugarcane and other crops farmers, they are in the state of shock and now struggling to rebuild their lives.

Industry bodies and political parties have also assessed the situation and suggest that flood caused the estimated loss of at least Rs 10,000 crore following the closure of industries, severe damage of crops, and others.

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