Sugar Season 2023-24: Sugarcane crushing in Maharashtra expected to commence on November 1

Kolhapur (Maharashtra): The sugarcane crushing season in Maharashtra is expected to commence on November 1, 2023.

A meeting of ministers, led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, will be held in the next two to three days to review the outstanding payments from the previous season and assess the overall availability of sugarcane for the upcoming season. The meeting will also determine the commencement date for the sugarcane crushing season.

While speaking to ChiniMandi, official sources, on the condition of anonymity, said that the state government is deliberating on starting the sugarcane season on November 1, 2023.

Differing opinions exist regarding the commencement of the sugarcane season in the state. Some believe that, given the lower sugarcane production and its use as fodder, it is necessary to start the crushing season on October 15. On the other hand, some argue that starting the season early could result in lower recovery and potential losses for both farmers and mills. Therefore, they advocate commencing the season on November 15 to allow for better recovery. State government is considering factors such as rainfall conditions, anticipated sugarcane production, and the start date of the sugarcane season in neighboring state Karnataka before making a decision.

Maharashtra is facing a deficit rainfall, sparking concerns over the potential impact on sugarcane production and a subsequent drop in sugar output compared to the previous season.

Recently, B.B. Thombare, Chairman of the Western Indian Sugar Mills Association (WISMA), had voiced concerns regarding the upcoming sugar season, citing potential reductions in sugarcane availability for mills. He had stated lack of rainfall can impact sugarcane output leading to fears of a 15% to 18% reduction in production. Furthermore, sugarcane growers might divert sugarcane to khandsari and jaggery-making units instead of waiting for sugar mills to commence crushing. Some farmers are even contemplating selling their sugarcane to cater to the demand for fodder.

In light of these challenges, WISMA had urged the government to commence the crushing season from October 15, fearing that delay in granting permission to begin the crushing operations will exacerbate the situation.


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