Agri Business

Sugarcane acreage in Maharashtra to rise 30% to 10.66 lakh ha

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on September 18, 2020

Bumper crop expected on good rains in the last two years


The sugarcane planted area in Maharashtra is expected to increase by 29 per cent to 10.66 lakh ha for the sugar year 2020-21. Last year, the area was 8.22 lakh ha, according to the estimates prepared by the State Sugar Commissioner office.

Sugar year runs from October to September. Every year around Dussehra festival most of the mills start the process of procuring and crushing sugarcane. This year, the Dussehra festival falls on October 25 but given the higher planted area, the season is expected to start by the second week of October.

Shekhar Gaikwad, Sugar Commissioner of Maharashtra, told BusinessLine that due to good rains in 2019 as well as this year a bumper crop is expected. Sugarcane available for crushing would be 815.50 lakh tonnes (lt), while last year 545 lt was crushed in the State.

Due to good water availability, in every hectare, the yield could increase by five to ten tonnes. The increase in tonnage of sugarcane in fields will also lead to higher sugar production in the mills, he said.

A sugarcane area estimation note prepared by the State Sugar Commissioner office said that the productivity is expected to rise to 85 tonnes/per ha. Average recovery rate would be 11.30 per cent and sugar production is estimated to reach 92.15 lt.

Although the sugarcane production is expected to be 906.1 lt, the actual cane available for crushing with the mills would be 815.50 lt, the note said.

Jaggery units

Sugarcane also has good demand from cattle feed suppliers and from jaggery making units. Jaggery is still used for making traditional sweets and it is also being promoted as a health food and an alternative to white sugar.

The note added that the Kolhapur division will dominate the scene with 2.69 lakh ha of area under the cash crop. Last year, the acreage was 2.30 lakh ha. Traditionally, the division, which consists of Kolhapur and Sangli district, has been the major sugarcane belt of the State.

Published on September 14, 2020

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