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New Delhi, Dec. 22

THE Union Minister for Agriculture, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Mr Sharad Pawar, on Thursday urged the sugar industry to work towards achieving economies of scale and better efficiency to reduce cost of production of sugar.

The average capacity of sugar mills in Thailand, Australia and Brazil were about 10,000 tonnes of sugarcane crushed per day (TCD), he said. In India, some progress has been made in increasing the capacity of the mills. While the average capacity was 1,718 TCD in 1980-81, it had increased to 3,343 TCD in 2002-03, which was still far below the average economic size of sugar mills in other major sugar producing countries, said Mr Pawar.

On the sugar production front, he said the production in the current season was expected to cross 180 lakh tonnes.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 23, 2005)
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