Speaking at the Sugar Conference 2020, Mr.Ravi Gupta -President- Renuka Sugars expressed his views on the sugar industry in Maharashtra and the way forward. He shared that the competition is building up for Maharashtra sugar mills and therefore its now time for Maharashtra to prepare.
The advantage of lower sugarcane cost as compared to the sugar mills in the Northern states due to the difference in SAP and FRP no longer exists. The sugar recovery which used to be at 9.5% in North as compared to Maharashtra 11.5% has come to the same level. Therefore, in the previous years, lower sugar cost as compared sugar mills in the North has vanished. Mills shall have to be mindful in this fact and shall have to create efficiency.
He added, “There is a big issue of about capacity utilization in Maharashtra because of variation in sugarcane production. We shall have to think of ideas to diversify the industry in a way where we reduce fixed overheads. The Government ensures to give maximum support to the industry and biggest support has been the fuel ethanol program. The industry should make maximum advantage of this program and should begin to prepare itself for making ethanol from B-molasses , sugarcane juice and even from sugar. Here, the minimum ethanol prices should be fixed for the longer period in the lines of cogen power purchase program in Maharashtra to make the new distilleries project viable and bankable.’’
The bigger problem in Maharashtra is inventory, which is always higher than Indian average. Maharashtra should find ways to reduce inventory. The Govt. can help in bringing an export policy at the earliest as stocks are very high and effort should be made to encourage food processing industry in Maharashtra where milk is in surplus, sugar is in surplus and grains are available. On top of all this, Maharashtra has large food parks so a plan should be created how we encourage food processing industry for domestic consumption and for exports so that instead of exporting sugar we can sell value added processed foods and also reduce the glut the sugar “
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