Sugar Conclave: Sharad Pawar urges to plan sugarcane harvesting before commencement of new crushing season

Pune: Considering the favourable climate and predictions of good rainfall, former Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has urged to plan sugarcane harvesting before the commencement of new crushing season. He was speaking at the State-Level Sugar Conclave conducted by the Vasantdada Sugar Institute in Pune.

The two-day conclave will see the sugar industry deliberate on various issues sector is facing and the way forward.

Addressing the gathering, Pawar said, “Farmers prefer sugarcane cultivation as it is the only crop that is providing them assured income. Good rainfall in the last two seasons has resulted in record sugar production in the state. Considering favourable climate and predictions of good rainfall plan, cane area under cultivation is expected to increase therefore planning has to be done for harvesting sugarcane before the commencement of new crushing season,”

“The mills effort to export sugar over the last three seasons and the centre’s support to it has helped India to address the issue of excess sugar. This season India is likely to export more than 90 lakh tonnes of sugar and more than 50 per cent is contributed by Maharashtra mills. For the first time, India has exported sugar to 129 countries in the world including Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia,” he informed.

“Sugar mills should focus on ethanol production to achieve the centre’s target of 20 per cent ethanol blending by 2025. At present we are producing 332 crore litres of ethanol by diverting 18 lakh metric tonnes of sugar. We want to achieve the target of producing 700 crore litres of ethanol which should reach 1200 crore litres by 2025 and the mills should plan accordingly,” NCP chief further added.

Pawar said, “VSI is taking several steps to increase the productivity of the cane. With the help of the College of Engineering, Pune, VSI is implementing several projects including the development of quality seeds, providing high yielding varieties of cane, efficient management and use of technology in farming to increase productivity.”

He also praised Union cabinet minister Nitin Gadkari as the voice of Maharashtra’s sugarcane growers in the Centre.

The conclave was attended Maharashtra State Co-operative Sugar Factory Association, West Indian Sugar Mills Association (WISMA), Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other state ministers like Jaiprakash Dandegaonkar.


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