Maharashtra is likely to witness a drop in sugar production due to deficient rainfall in the upcoming season. Sugar millers may face a challenging crushing season ahead, not only due to low rainfall but also because farmers are diverting their sugarcane produce for fodder, which could potentially result in a shortage of crops for crushing. Karnataka is also grappling with a drought-like situation, and mills in the border areas are eyeing Maharashtra’s sugarcane crop.
As a precautionary measure to ensure smooth crushing operations, the Maharashtra Government has restricted the export of Sugarcane to any person (including body corporate) outside the State, till 30th April 2024, except with the permission issued in this behalf by the competent authority. In 2017, the government had issued a similar order.
As per notification issued on September 13, 2023, it has been brought to the notice of the state Government by the Commissioner of Sugar, Maharashtra State, Pune that the availability of sugarcane for production of sugar is less in the sugarcane crushing Season 2023-2024, in the state. And whereas, it is expedient to restrict the export of the sugarcane outside Maharashtra in order to enable the sugar industries to operate to their full capacity.
“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by paragraph (f) of sub-clause (1) of Clause 6 of the Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966, of the Central Government, delegated to the Government of Maharashtra under sub-clause (b) of clause (1) of Clause 11 thereof, vide the Government of India Notification, Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Commodity Development and Co-operation (Department of Food), No. GSR.1127/Ess.Com/Sugarcane, dated the 16th July 1966, the Government of Maharashtra hereby restricts the export of Sugarcane to any person (including body corporate) outside the State of Maharashtra, till 30th April 2024, except with the permission issued in this behalf by the competent authority,” the notification further read.
The prolonged dry spell in August has raised alarms, signaling a drought-like situation in parts of Marathwada, North Maharashtra, and the Western Maharashtra region. Agrimandi.live, an analysis and forecasting company specializing in Agri-commodities, has forecasted sugar production in Maharashtra to be around 90 lakh tonnes for the upcoming season after assessing the current situation regarding rainfall, crop growth, and other factors.
State Cane Commissioners of all sugar producing states have been asked by government to keep a watch on the status of crops and update their information on area under cane, yield and anticipated sugar production.
Maharashtra’s Sugar Commissioner Dr. Chandrakant Pulkundwar, while speaking to ChiniMandi, stated that due to the lack of rain, sugarcane production in the state is likely to decrease. The state government is taking immediate steps to ensure that the sugar season runs at full capacity in the state.
This decision has been taken to stop sugarcane from going to other states. Sugar commissioner believes that this measure will benefit the state’s sugar industry.