Sugar mills may rely on sugarcane harvesting machines in the upcoming season

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Solapur: The sugar mills are likely to emphasise on harvesting machines rather than depending on the sugarcane harvesters for cutting sugarcane crop.

The Coronavirus has limited the movement of people from one place to others. Due to which industries are facing the difficulty of getting labourers. Mills in the state may face the challenge of the Corona epidemic as well as the shortage of sugarcane harvesting workers in the upcoming season.

According to a media report, as many as 100 harvesting machines have been booked so far across many districts in the state. Only in Solapur, around 50 machines have been booked.

Usually, cane cutters from Beed, Osmanabad, Chalisgaon and other parts of Maharashtra migrate to western Maharashtra during cane crushing season. Due to Coronavirus pandemic, the millers are worried about getting cane cutters.

According to ISMA, Maharashtra’s net cane area has gone up by about 43% in 2020-21 SS, which is mainly due to above normal SW and NE monsoon in 2019, followed by normal rainfall from January to March’ 2020. As against the net cane area of 7.76 lakh ha. in 2019-20 SS, area is expected to increase to 11.12 lakh ha in 2020-21. It is noteworthy that during the current 2019-20 SS around 0.5 lakh ha cane area was completely lost due to floods in July- August 2019. Sugar production is, therefore, estimated to be around 101.34 lakh tonnes in 2020-21 SS, as against 61.61 lakh tonnes produced in 2019-20 SS, i.e. higher by about 39.73 lakh tonnes.

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