Agri Business

Sugar mills in Maharashtra to start crushing season in November

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on October 12, 2019 Published on October 12, 2019

Last season, 195 sugar mills in Maharashtra crushed 952 lakh tonnes of sugarcane to produce 107 lakh tonne sugar. File Photo   -  The Hindu

Sugar mills in Maharashtra will start crushing only after the State elections and Diwali. Sources said that mills will start operating in the first week of November .

Severe drought in the Marathwada region this year has affected sugarcane cultivation and many farmers have sold their cane as fodder. The recent floods in western Maharashtra, including Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur, have destroyed sugarcane tracts.

Industry experts predict that not many sugar mills will be able to complete crushing season using their full potential because of lack of sugarcane. Last season, 195 sugar mills in Maharashtra crushed 952 lakh tonnes of sugarcane to produce 107 lakh tonne sugar with 11.26 per cent extract. However, an equal number of sugar mills had failed to start crushing.

As the crushing season is delayed in Maharashtra, sugar mills bordering Karnataka fear that mills in the neighbouring State might take away sugarcane from the region. The sugar industry accounts for an annual revenue of over ₹2,000 crore to the government.

The shorter crushing season will have a direct impact on farmers, sugarcane cutters and sugar traders. Nearly 2.5 crore people in rural Maharashtra depend heavily on the sugar season for their livelihoods. The sugarcane industry provides direct employment to about 1,65,000 workers, besides eight lakh workers who are engaged in harvesting and transport operations, for six months.

Published on October 12, 2019
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