Sugar production in Maharashtra up by 13.29 per cent by January 6, Pune topped the state sugar production

Pune region has produced 199.74 lakh quintals of sugar and has topped the state in sugar production, followed by Kolhapur with 117.82 lakh quintals
By Shrinivas Deshpande | Hindustan Times, Pune
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2019 05:09 PM IST
There are 50 lakh tonnes of sugar stocked from last year’s production and the increased production this year is creating concern for farmers.(HT/ PHOTO)

The sugar production of Maharashtra till January 6, 2019 has gone up by 13.29 per cent as compared to same time last year, according to the statistics released by Sugar Commissionerate.

Pune region has produced 199.74 lakh quintals of sugar and has topped the state in sugar production, followed by Kolhapur with 117.82 lakh quintals.

A total of 185 sugar mills were in operation in Maharashtra and have produced 489.51 lakh quintals of sugar, as compared to 424.50 lakh quintals produced by 182 sugar mills after crushing at least 411.22 lakh MT of cane as on January 5, 2018.

‘GOOD RAINFALL’

“The production of sugar has gone up by 65 lakh quintals of sugar because Maharashtra received good rainfall in 2017 and many farmers opted to cultivate this cash crop.

“However, the next year, because of drought and white grub pest infestation, we have revised the estimated sugar production figure from 105 lakh tonnes to 95 lakh tonnes,” said Shekhar Gaikwad, sugar commissioner.

10.60 PER CENT AVERAGE RECOVERY

In Maharashtra, 185 sugar mills are in operation and a total of 461.99 lakh MT of sugarcane has been crushed and 489.51 lakh quintals of sugar has been produced, as on January 6, 2019, with an average recovery of 10.60 per cent, said officials.

In 2017, 149 sugar mills were in operation as on January 5, 2017 and 260.33 lakh MT of cane was crushed to produce 277.92 lakh quintals of sugar. Already, there is 50 lakh tonnes of sugar stocked from last year’s production and the increased production is creating concern for farmers.

CAP ON SUGAR PRICES

According to the sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad, the increased production of sugar would not affect the price of sugar sold to consumer because the government has fixed a cap to sell sugar at Rs 29 per kilogramme.

Last week, Nitin Gadkari, union Minister of Road Transport and Highways,in his speech at Solapur placed an appeal to all the sugar producers in the state to produce ethanol directly from cane juice instead of producing sugar.He assured that government will purchase it.

Gadkari said,” The problem in the sugar industry is created because of the global economic crisis. I request the farmers not to engage in sugar production. In fact, they can opt for ethanol production.”

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