Overproduction of sugar is a problem for the economy: Nitin Gadkari

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday that overproduction of sugar was a problem for the economy and stressed the need to diversify from agriculture towards the energy and energy sectors. electricity.

“The overproduction of sugar is a problem for the economy. We are spending Rs 15 lakh crore per year on importing petroleum products, and therefore we need to diversify from the agricultural sector to the energy and electricity sectors,” Gadkari said in his speech at the congratulatory program of the National Cogeneration Awards-2022 here.

According to an official statement, Gadkari urged the industry to focus on alternative fuels using futuristic technologies. He said that 65-70% of our population depends on agriculture, but our agricultural growth rate is only 12-13%.

“The sugarcane industry and the farmers are a growth engine for our industry. The next step should be cogeneration to increase sugar revenues. The industry should produce less sugar and produce more by-products, embracing the vision of futuristic technologies and using the power of leadership to convert knowledge into wealth,” he said.

He said the country’s sugar requirement was 280 lakh tonnes this year, but production was over 360 lakh tonnes. “It could be used because of the situation in Brazil. However, we must reorient production towards ethanol because the need for ethanol is very high,” the minister stressed.

“Last year’s capacity was 400 million liters of ethanol; we have taken many initiatives to increase the production of ethanol. Now is the time for industry to plan for ethanol demand, using technologies such as bioethanol-powered generators.

The minister told the industry that the central government has decided to launch flexible motors in India. “Bajaj, Hero and TVS are already making flex engines, many automakers have also promised to launch their models on flex engines.”

The Minister explained how a crucial issue on the calorific value of ethanol was addressed during discussions with Russian researchers. “The calorific value of ethanol was lower, one liter of gasoline was equivalent to 1.3 liters of ethanol, but using Russian technology we found a way to make the calorific value of ethanol the same as that of gasoline.”

He said Germany had proven technology for running trains on bioethanol. A highly purified version of ethanol can also be used in the aircraft industry; the aviation industry is researching how this can be done, he added. “Bio-CNG is much cheaper than CNG and can be made from rice straw and even organic municipal waste, which makes it economically attractive.”

The Minister said that the sugar industry is facing many problems and that we need a rationalization of electricity purchase tariffs; some states do not grant tariffs in accordance with central government policy, this is one of the reasons why the sugar cane industry is not economically viable, the minister said, asking the industry to raise the issue in the appropriate forums.

Rachel J. Bradford