As a part of ‘AzadiKaAmritMahotsav’celebrations, DFPD made direct dialogue with sugarcane farmers

New Delhi :

During the interaction, Shri Subodh Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary (Sugar) informed the farmers that improvement in yield would reduce the cost of sugarcane farming as well as revenue of farmers. He suggested sugar mills to produce more ethanol to have better cash flow thereby ensuring sustainable industry. He emphasised on the need for adoption of techniques of ‘waste to wealth’. He briefly mentioned the initiatives taken by GOI for making Sugar sector Atmanirbhar, environment friendly and how the Centre is working tirelessly to reduce the dues of farmers.

Further, progressive farmers from various states, sugar mills shared their best practices like use of high yielding varieties, drip irrigation and soil health improvement etc. which led to yields as high as 150 tonnes of sugarcane per hectare, almost double of average yield in the country. Famous sugarcane breeder Dr.Bakshi Ram suggested for varietal distribution of cane and not to worry for red rot in co 0238, a variety which has increased the sugar recovery in North Indian factories by 2%. Cane farming experts Dr. A D Pathak suggested mechanization in cane farming and best irrigation practices to improve the yield and recovery of sugar cane at a reduced cost of production. Importance of seed production of high yielding varieties of cane was highlight of the suggestions. Narendra Mohan, Director, NSI, Kanpur suggested improvising methods of integration of the cane harvesting and crushing of cane leads to more sugar per unit area of land.

Sugar Division, DFPD, Government of India organised a Webinar on ‘Challenges and Opportunities in Sugar/Ethanol Sector’ in the afternoon. The event started with the keynote address by the Shri Subodh Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary (Sugar). It was followed by talk on “Global Sugar & Ethanol Scenario” by Shri Arvind Chudasama, talk on “Environmental Issues in Ethanol Industry” by Dr. B.B.Gunjal, talk on “Recent Technological Developments in Ethanol Industry” by Shri Mahesh Kulkarni, talk on ‘Challenges in the cooperative sugar sector’ by Shri Jaiprakash R. SalunkeDandegaonkar, and talk on ‘Balancing the interests of sugarcane farmers and sugar industry’ by Shri N. Ramanathan.

While delivering the keynote address, the Joint Secretary (Sugar) told that Indian Sugar Sector has come a long way from a Cyclical sugar industry to structurally surplus industry and a regular exporter. He informed about multiple government initiatives on MSP, Buffer Stock and MRM, allowing multiple feed stocks for ethanol production etc. and called for improvements across the value chain from farm to factory for making the sector sustainable.

Sugar mills of both cooperative and private sector participated in both the events enthusiastically and appreciated the contents. They recommended to conduct such events in future also. Farmers were very happy to share their initiatives and praised the efforts of government to ensure timely payment of cane arrears and assistance in cane development by sugar industry.