VSI’s International Sugar Conference will provide an excellent opportunity to learn about innovations in sugar industry: Sharad Pawar

The third International Sugar Conference, organized by Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI), is scheduled to take place in Pune from January 12 to 14, 2024. The event’s media partner is ‘ChiniMandi.’ More than two thousand delegates from across the globe are expected to participate in this conference, facilitating the exchange of knowledge, technology, and ideas. Against this backdrop, Sharad Pawar, the Chairman of VSI and Member of Parliament, shared insights with ‘ChiniMandi’ regarding the establishment of VSI, its objectives, and the institute’s contributions to farmers, the sugar industry, and the nation’s development.

Pawar emphasized the significance of the sugar industry in providing employment opportunities and increasing farmers’ income. Currently, around 50 lakh hectares of land are dedicated to sugarcane cultivation in India, with Maharashtra alone covering over 14 lakh hectares. The livelihoods of around 25 to 30 crore farmers in the country depend on sugarcane cultivation. Among the 528 sugar mills, employing approximately 5 lakh workers, the cultivation of sugarcane stands out for its resilience to climate change and higher returns compared to other crops. To ensure fair pricing for sugarcane producers, provisions are in place to determine the crop’s value through legislation. Consequently, farmers prefer cultivating sugarcane in areas with reliable water supply.

India pays over 85,000 crores annually to sugarcane farmers. As the world’s largest consumer of sugar, with an annual demand of about 27 million tons, and an average individual requiring 20 kilograms of sugar each year, the sugar industry plays a crucial role for farmers, consumers, and the nation as a whole.

Discussing the historical background of the sugar industry in the country, Pawar highlighted the post-independence efforts that led to the establishment of the first cooperative sugar mill in India in 1948. The success of the Pravaranagar mill laid a strong foundation for cooperative sugar mills in Maharashtra.

Pawar credited the late Vasantdada Patil for founding the Deccan Sugar Institute in response to the challenges posed by the Maximum Land Ceiling Act of 1961. The act made it impractical for private mills to operate, leading to their conversion into cooperative mills. Around 45 factories were established in Maharashtra by the 1970s. However, the lack of skilled manpower was a challenge. The National Sugar Institute (NSI) in Kanpur was the only institution providing training for sugar mills. To address this gap, former Chief Minister Vasantdada Patil initiated the establishment of the Deccan Sugar Institute, offering courses similar to those at NSI. This move facilitated the development of skilled manpower for mills, and in 1986, an agriculture department was established to provide training to farmers.

Pawar proudly stated that after Vasantdada Patil’s passing, the responsibility of the institute was entrusted to him. Over the past 34 years, the institute has dedicated substantial efforts to research, training, consultancy, and service in all aspects. As a result, the institute has earned recognition as a prestigious institution globally, hosting discussions, seminars, and conferences similar to those organized by leading research institutions worldwide.

The VSI has gained international acclaim, and Pawar announced the decision to celebrate the birth centenary of Vasantdada Patil. Reflecting on the success of the first two International Sugar Conferences, the scope of the upcoming third conference has been expanded. The exhibition area has been significantly enhanced, and representatives from nearly 26 countries, including around 31 renowned scientists from various countries and 30 Indian scientists, are expected to participate. The conference will provide an excellent opportunity to learn about innovations in the global sugar industry.

Pawar concluded by urging farmers, women, youth, and all individuals associated with agriculture to participate in this significant conference through ‘ChiniMandi.’ The event is anticipated to attract over 2 lakh farmers who will showcase sugarcane crops and participate in the exhibition. With the success of the previous conferences, Pawar announced the decision to organize such conferences every three years, with the next one scheduled from January 12 to 14, 2024. The third International Sugar Conference aims to facilitate a comprehensive exchange of knowledge and ideas among farmers, industry experts, and stakeholders in the sugar sector.

For more details visit the YouTube Video VSI’s International Sugar Conference is a path breaker for the global sugar industry: President Sharad Pawar


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