Sugarcane continues to be popular with farmers in Maharashtra. It is expected to be cultivated on around 9.02 lakh hectares for2017-18 season,according to the figures released bythe Maharashtra SugarCommissionerate and the agriculture department.
Sugarcane continues to be popular with farmers in Maharashtra. It is expected to be cultivated on around 9.02 lakh hectares for 2017-18 season,according to the figures released bythe Maharashtra Sugar Commissionerate and the agriculture department. The state is expected to produce around 73 lakh tonne of sugar at a recovery rate of 11.3%. Last year,the area under cane had shrunk to some 6.33 lakh hectares resulting in sugar production of around 41.88 lakh tonne after crushing 372.53 lakh tonnes of cane at a recovery rate of 11.24%. This time around although July remained dry, cane plantation was largely unaffected, senior officials of the Sugar Commissionerate said. The Centre is also reported to have written to Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to ascertain the possibility of commencing the new crushing season in the first week of October.
The state’s biggest cooperative federation has also shared the same estimates for the season, saying that Maharashtra’s sugar output for the 2017-18 season is likely to touch 72 lakh tonne. According to the Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation,around 725 lakh tonne of cane should be available for crushing for the 2017-18 season,which is likely to result in a production of 72 lakh tonne at an average recovery rate of 11.24%. This data has been gathered by the federation from several mills and these are the primary estimates for the season.
The India Meteorological Department has forecast normal rainfall in 2017 but there have been dry spells during some days of July and the rain continues to elude Marathwada region. The Western India Sugar Mills Association had also forecast the output in the state to be around 70 lakh tonne for the season on the grounds that farmers had raised area under cane for the season because of good rainfall. The state’s sugar output had fallen more than half at 41.86 lakh tonne in 2016-17 in comparison to the previous season when it was 84.15 lakh tonne. The production in 2016-17 was the lowest in a decade due to lower availability of sugarcane following two consecutive drought years. About 150 sugar mills crushed 372 lakh tonne of sugarcane during 2016-17, less than half of 743 lakh tonne crushed in the previous year.
Last year, the number of sugar mills in operation came down from 177 as 27 mills could not operate due to cane unavailability. The last operating sugar mill in Maharashtra closed its operations on April 9. The sugar mills from Marathwada region had closed almost two months ago,owing to non-availability of sugarcane.