Sugar Production in India

  • IASbaba
  • October 8, 2022
  • 0
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Context: India emerges as the world’s largest producer and consumer of sugar and world’s 2nd largest exporter of sugar.

  • In Sugar Season (Oct-Sep) 2021-22, a record of more than 5000 Lakh Metric Tons (LMT) sugarcane was produced in the country
  • With this, India has emerged as the world’s largest producer and consumer of sugar as well as the world’s 2nd largest exporter of sugar.
  • Maharashtra emerged as the highest sugar exporter and producer in India in 2021-22 Sugar Season (SS) exporting almost 60 per cent of total exports in India.
  • Supportive international prices and Indian Government Policy led to this feat of Indian Sugar Industry.
  • The exports earned foreign currency of about Rs. 40,000 crores for the country.

Factors that led to largest Producer of Sugar:

  • Synchronous and collaborative efforts of Central and State Governments, farmers, sugar mills, ethanol distilleries with very supportive overall ecosystem for business in the country led to this feat.
  • During 2021-22, sugar mills procured sugarcane worth more than 1.18 lakh with no financial assistance (subsidy) from Government of India.
  • 95% of cane dues have already been cleared.
  • In 2020-21, more than 99.9% cane dues are cleared.
  • Scheme for Extending Financial Assistance to Sugar Undertakings (SEFASU) and National Policy on Biofuels are two of the government initiatives to support sugarcane production and the sugar industry.

Ethanol Production:

  • Government has been encouraging sugar mills to divert sugar to ethanol.
  • Growth of ethanol as biofuel sector in last 5 years has amply supported the sugar sector as use of sugar to ethanol has led to better financial positions of sugar mills due to:
    • faster payments,
    • reduced working capital requirements and
    • less blockage of funds due to less surplus sugar with mills.
  • Ethanol production capacity of molasses/sugar-based distilleries has increased to 605 crore liters per annum and the progress is still continuing to meet targets of 20% blending by 2025 under Ethanol Blending with Petrol (EBP) Programme.
  • In new season, the diversion of sugar to ethanol is expected to increase from 35 LMT to 50 LMT which would generate revenue for sugar mills amounting to about ₹ 25,000 crores.

Sugarcane Cultivated:

  • Temperature: Between 21-27°C with hot and humid climate.
  • Rainfall: Around 75-100 cm.
  • Soil Type: Deep rich loamy soil.
  • Top Sugarcane Producing States: Maharashtra>Uttar Pradesh > Karnataka
  • It can be grown on all varieties of soils ranging from sandy loam to clay loam given these soils should be well drained.
  • It needs manual labour from sowing to harvesting.
  • It is the main source of sugar, Gur (jaggery), khandsari and molasses.

MUST READ: Ethanol Blending                          

Source: The Hindu                                    

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to the current trends in the cultivation of sugarcane in India, consider the following statements: (2020)

  1. A substantial saving in seed material is made when ‘bud chip settlings’ are raised in a nurse, and transplanted in the main field.
  2. When direct planting of setts is done, the germination percentage is better with single budded setts as compared to setts with many buds.
  3. If bad weather conditions prevail when sets are directly planted, single-budded setts have better survival as compared to large setts
  4. Sugarcane can be cultivated using settlings prepared from tissue culture.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1 and 4 only
  4. 2, 3 and 4 only

Q.2) Among the following, which one is the least water-efficient crop? (2022)

  1. Sugarcane
  2. Sunflower
  3. Pearl millet
  4. Red gram

Q.3) According to India’s National Policy on Biofuels, which of the following can be used as raw materials for the production of biofuels?   (2021)

  1. Cassava
  2. Damaged wheat grains
  3. Groundnut seeds
  4. Horse gram
  5. Rotten potatoes
  6. Sugar beet

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1, 2, 5 and 6 only
  2. 1, 3, 4 and 6 only
  3. 2, 3, 4 and 5 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6


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