Increase cane productivity to meet rising demand for sugar, says Sharad Pawar at event in Pune
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president and former Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on Friday called for steps to increase sugarcane productivity as there was no possibility of increasing area under cane cultivation. He said the demand for sugar would rise to 30-33 million tonnes (MT) by 2025, as against 26 MT today.
Pawar was delivering his inaugural address on Friday at an international conference on sustainability, innovation and diversification in sugar and allied industries organised by the Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) at Manjri in Pune.
Nearly 2,000 delegates from various countries are attending this conference.
Pawar said in view of the national commitment on food security and the constraints on increasing the area under sugarcane cultivation, the only way to meet the rising demand is by increasing productivity per unit of land and by increasing sugar recovery.
He said while the central government had undertaken steps for deregulating the industry, it was still governed by regulatory government policies such as fixation of cane price, area reservation, export and import, and ethanol blending.
He suggested that the conference deliberate on these issues to pave the way forward for the industry.
VSI director Shivajirao Deshmukh said, VSI is an organisation of sugarcane farmers who have reposed their faith and confidence in the ability of this organisation to guide them with research and development. “The conference underlines the need for research and application for sustainable development,” he said.
A number of ministers of the Maharashtra government were present at the conference.