Thanks to the monsoon, the state is ready for the highest sugar production ever | Bombay News

MUMBAI: Maharashtra is expected to register its highest sugar production in the 2021-22 season with an estimated production of 133 lakh tonnes, 25% higher than the previous year. This would make Maharashtra the country’s top sugar producer, ahead of Uttar Pradesh, for the second consecutive year.

A heavy monsoon over the past year has led to a 90,000 hectare increase in sugar cultivation in the state. Cane-cultivated area increased from 11.4 lakh hectares in 2020-21 to 12.3 lakh hectares in 2021-22. The result is that sugar production is expected to increase by 106 lakh tonnes in 2020-21.
Nationally, the country is expected to record a production of 350 lakh tons. This means that Maharashtra alone will account for 38% of national production.
“Maharashtra has enjoyed a good monsoon for two consecutive years. The sugarcane crop in UP has come under attack from pests hence the production there has declined,” said state sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad.
Despite the increase in sugar production, prices have not collapsed. Indeed, 80 lakh tons of domestically produced sugar is exported, compared to 60 lakh tons the previous year. Another 35 lakh tons are being diverted to ethanol production. Maharashtra alone has diverted 12 lakh tonnes of cane into ethanol production.
Increased production also means farmers’ dues are paid more quickly, officials say.
“About 98% of farmers’ FRP contributions are paid”
About 98% of the farmers’ Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) dues have been paid so far,” state sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said. For the past two years, the state had allowed sugar mills to expand capacity in anticipation of increased production. Usually, the crushing season lasts 120-140 days, but this year, given the high production, it is expected to extend to 160 days.
Three divisions had over 2 lakh hectares of sugarcane under cultivation: Pune and Kolhapur in western Maharashtra and Solapur in drought-prone Vidarbha. Given the heavy cultivation, it is feared that all the cane produced in the Marathwada region will be crushed.
“There are about 50 lakh tons of cane to be crushed in Marathwada. Of this, it is likely that 25 to 30 lakh tonnes will remain unmilled until the end of the season,” said BB Thombare of the Western India Sugar Mills Association. Maharashtra sugar production.

Rachel J. Bradford