Sugarcane harvesters from other States to cut Maharashtra cane   

Radheshyam Jadhav |BL Pune Bureau | | Updated on: Apr 18, 2022
The problem of excess sugarcane is serious in three districts in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra – Jalna, Parbhani, and Hingoli

The problem of excess sugarcane is serious in three districts in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra – Jalna, Parbhani, and Hingoli | Photo Credit: RAJU SANADI

90 lakh tonnes of sugarcane still standing in the fields

The National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Limited (NFCSF) has decided to bring sugarcane harvesters from Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and other States to harvest 90 lakh tonnes of sugarcane in Maharashtra. 

Sugarcane crushing season in Maharashtra has almost ended and sugarcane cutters have returned to their villages but about 90 lakh tonnes of sugarcane still stands in the fields. In the absence of sugarcane cutters, the NFCSF has decided to request mills in other States to provide harvesters. 

NFCSF President Jaiprakash Dandegaonkar held a meeting with sugar industry players on Sunday and requested them to send machines to Maharashtra. The problem of excess sugarcane is serious in three districts in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra – Jalna, Parbhani, and Hingoli. Also, there is sugarcane standing in fields in other parts of the State. 

NFCSF Managing Director Prakash Naiknavare told  BusinessLine on Monday that sugar industry players in other States will provide sugarcane harvesters to Maharashtra once they complete work in their respective States. Also, sugarcane harvesters in districts of Maharashtra where harvesting is completed will be brought to the areas facing excess sugarcane problems. 

“ All sugarcane in Maharashtra will be harvested and crushed. Per day cutting capacity of a medium-sized harvester is 5 to 6 acres against the manual capacity of 1.50 acres per day,” said Naiknavare. 

Farmers urged to diversify 

Maharashtra is facing a sugarcane glut problem this season. More and more farmers are turning to sugarcane cultivation after suffering heavy losses incurred due to unseasonal rains in the last couple of years. 

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar has appealed to farmers to divert to other crops. Speaking to farmers in Jalna, Pawar said that along with sugarcane, farmers must also go back to soya and cotton cultivation. He assured Marathwada farmers that all sugarcane available in the State will be crushed and farmers will not have to suffer losses. 

The sugarcane cutters in the State have already returned to their hometowns. Generally, by the end of April, all sugarcane in the State is crushed and cane cutters go back to their villages for pre-monsoon work in their own fields. This season, because of excess sugarcane, the crushing season is still on but cane cutters have returned back after a timely prediction of monsoon. Cane cutters, mainly from Marathwada, take only one crop in a year during monsoon and work as cane cutters for the rest of the time.     

Published on April 18, 2022
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