The new sugar policy being formulated in Uttar Pradesh would give equal importance to the industry and farmers, Abhishek Mishra, the minister of state for protocol, said on Friday.
“The government is looking at the sugar sector in a holistic manner. The policy could be there in a month or two,” he said at a workshop organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-UP. The workshop’s theme was ‘Sugar Tech 2012: Integrated approach towards sustainable development’.
The minister also said UP’s commitment to 10% growth could not be achieved without industrial development. “When we talk of industry, sugar industry is the most important,” he added.
He reiterated that all stakeholders were equally responsible to work out measures to aid the sugar sector.
“The difference of 10 tonnes per hectare of productivity of sugarcane in UP as against the national average is not only a challenge but an opportunity,” Mishra said.
Alok Saxena, chairman, CII UP State Council, said, “the sugar industry is one of the main drivers of the country's rural economy supporting 50 million farmers and their families directly or indirectly. It generates employment for around 12% of the entire rural population (in nine major sugar producing states).”
Dr GSC Rao, president, Sugar Technologists Association of India, said,"If sugarcane farmers are to be better off, they must adopt intercropping with sugarcane. There are 18 crops that can be grown alongside sugarcane. The sugar price needs to be decontrolled. The industry should decide what, when and how much to sell.”
Kamran Rizvi, the cane commissioner, asked the industry to invest in research and development for good quality seeds, establishing soil testing, integrated pest management and tissue culture labs, mechanisation of sugar cane cultivation.
He invited proposals from the sugar industries for cane harvesting pilot projects.