Late rains to boost sugar output in Maharashtra

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Oct 24 2009, 05:17am hrs
Late rains in sugarcane rich western and central parts of Maharashtra could push up sugar production during the current crushing season to around 48 lakh tonne as against an earlier estimate of around 43 lakh tonne.

Industry players said sugar production could rise because rains would help in improving the tonnage and sucrose content in the cane. Around 60% of the total 8,00,000 area under sugarcane in Maharashtra , falls in the western and central parts. Of the total 170 cooperative sugar factories in the state, nearly 70% are situated in these two areas.

As reported by FE, sugarcane crushing in Maharashtra is expected to start from around November 1, 2009 instead of October 1, because of delay in harvesting the crop.

Nearly 460 lakh tonne of sugarcane will be available for crushing in 2009-10 as against 400 lakh tonne.

Even though the sugarcane has been used for jaggery, fodder and other purposes, the recent rains have increased tonnage and sucrose content. This will have a positive impact on sugar production which may rise marginally to 48 lakh tonne, sugar industry sources said.

Industry players are hopeful that sugarcane scenario in 2010-2011 will be bright as around 9,00,000 hectares of land will be brought under cane as against the current level of 800,000 hectares.

This will lead to increase in the availability of sugarcane to 550 to 600 lakh tonne, industry sources added.

In the next crushing season sugarcane situation will be improve as farmers are planting some new cane varieties like 9805 VSI which need less time to mature but have more sucrose content. Apart, from this high sugarcane price will also encourage farmers to plant more of the crop, sources noted.