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Kharif Outlook: ‘Safest crop’ sugarcane set to gain this season

Amit Savat, a younger farmer in Maharashtra’s Sangli, is obvious about the crop he wishes to plant this Kharif year. He favours sugarcane. “I want to get well losses,” he claims, right after getting suffered heavy losses rising vegetables in excess of the past one particular-and-a-50 % decades.

The Covid pandemic is one particular significant cause for the losses suffered by vegetable growers in his area. Like Savat, several growers in his area have shifted from cultivating grapes to planting sugarcane.

Pandurang Chavan, a farmer from the Kolhapur area in Maharashtra, bets that “sugarcane is the most secure crop in the existing times of Covid”.

“Cultivation expenditures for other crops have multiplied and unseasonal rains, closure of markets, price tag of pesticides, labour availability and affordability have remained significant complications for farmers,” he claims, justifying his lead to to change to sugarcane planting this year.

Maharashtra Sugar Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad claims that extra farmers are shifting to sugarcane cultivation due to the fact of confirmed cash flow.

“Sugarcane is comparatively a much better crop as opposed with others with superior returns. It is even a lazy crop as once you plant and reduce the cane you can be sure the mills will purchase,” claims Praful Vithalani, Chairman, All India Sugar Traders Association (AISTA).


An advantage in the situation of planting sugarcane is that growers want not fret. “It is the mills that want to fret about promoting sugar,” claims Vithalani.

Ganpatrao Sawant, director of Sangli-dependent Vasantdada Sugar Cooperative, concurs with the AISTA chairman. “There is uncertainty in the sector in watch of the large shares sugar mills have. They have to get started the crushing year, but there are several mills that may possibly facial area a economic disaster to get started crushing the up coming year. Glut in sugarcane manufacturing will increase to the complications of farmers and millers,” he claims.

In shorter, the “safest” and “lazy” crop tag for sugarcane will possible guide to greater planting this kharif.

Stand-on your own ethanol plants

The Centre’s coverage to allow for stand-on your own ethanol plants and the insistence on they pay out truthful and remunerative value (FRP) to farmers could also persuade them to take up sugarcane farming extra significantly, claims an Uttar Pradesh Sugar Mills Association formal.

The simple fact that sugar exports have been superior this year in addition to the continual boost in the manufacturing of ethanol could be favourable for planting sugarcane, he claims.

With Uttar Pradesh heading to the polls up coming year, the Point out governing administration would be extra prompt in guaranteeing mills pay out farmers on time as it would not want to antagonise these kinds of a substantial vote bank on the eve of the polls.

Water availability

In Karnataka, the 3rd premier sugar-creating point out, sugarcane output is possible to boost by about five for each cent aided by greater h2o availability and superior pre-monsoon showers throughout the summer months months.

RB Khandagave, Director, S Nijalingappa Sugar Institute in Belagavi, reported the crop issue in Karnataka is superior and the output would be greater by about five for each cent.

Apart from superior h2o availability, there is no report of pests attack or sickness, which really should aid the manufacturing, he reported.

Khandagave reported the roadmap for ethanol blending declared by the Centre will supply a major increase for cane cultivation in Karnataka.

Vithalani claims that sugarcane attracts farmers as Indian growers are paid 30-35 for each cent extra than growers in nations these kinds of as Thailand.

Rahil Shaikh, Controlling Director of MEIR Commodities-India, reported that the sugarcane crop would be somewhat greater than last year. “Sugarcane planting is on the verge of completion. We will get to know the actual closer to the peak monsoon interval, but we anticipate greater acreage in Maharashtra and Karnataka,” he reported.

Maharashtra, UP situation

This year to September, sugar mills in Maharashtra have manufactured 106.3 lakh tonnes (lt) of sugar right after crushing 1,012 lakh tonnes of cane with the crushing ending just lately.

In accordance to the Sugar Commissioner Business, farmers in Maharashtra cultivated sugarcane on eleven.forty two lakh hectares as opposed with 8.22 lakh hectares in 2019-20. An believed twelve lakh hectares may possibly appear below sugarcane with most gains coming from central Maharashtra.

Kolhapur and Pune locations dominate sugarcane cultivation in the Point out. These two locations crushed 46 for each cent of the sugarcane to develop fifty for each cent of the complete sugar in Maharashtra in 2020-21.

In Uttar Pradesh, farmers planted sugarcane in excess of 23.98 lakh hectares this year, marginally greater than 2019-20. “We still do not know how a lot region will be covered this year. The survey is heading on and we will get to know by early July,” reported the UPSMA formal.

Until May perhaps 31, Uttar Pradesh mills have manufactured all over 110 lt of sugar for the existing year that began in October.

Problem of arrears

Sugarcane acreage in Karnataka is possible to be the exact same as that of last year or see a marginal dip, reported Kurubur Shantakumar, President of Karnataka Cane Growers Association.

Sugarcane is cultivated on 10 lakh acres in the Point out, he reported.

Mills in Karnataka crushed about 353.45 lakh tonnes of cane throughout the existing year, Khandagave reported. Another 20 for each cent of the cane was diverted to develop jaggery as perfectly for seed functions.

If there could be any issue with regard to sugarcane acreage, it is the revenue that mills owe to farmers who supplied sugarcane.

In Maharashtra, mills have paid a web FRP of ₹22,043.thirteen crore or 94.fifty two for each cent of the complete payable FRP. Mills have to pay out ₹1,277.forty four crore to farmers as of June two.

On the other hand, the Nationwide Federation of Cooperative Sugar factories Confined has expressed problem in excess of mills in the Point out offering sugar under minimum offering value of ₹3,one hundred for each quintal. This has led to paucity of money, which could influence payment to growers up coming year.

In Karnataka, the cane arrears are to the tune of in excess of ₹1,000 crore for the existing year, although there is an fantastic of ₹300-four hundred crore from the past decades, Shantakumar reported.

Sugar output

The outlook of a greater sugarcane manufacturing arrives at a time when this season’s sugar manufacturing has been believed at 32.8 million tonnes (mt) with in excess of two mt heading toward ethanol manufacturing. Last year, manufacturing was 27.four mt.

The USDA has projected that Indian sugar manufacturing up coming year would be another two mt greater, but it would result in India carrying ahead a greater stock than the eleven mt projected this year.

The Indian sugar sector has been buoyed by governing administration coverage that gave transportation and other support for exports. This has assisted exports contact six mt this year as opposed with five.seven mt last year.

The Centre came with a offer that assisted every tonne of sugar exported to get ₹6,000 as support as opposed with an ordinary ₹9,750 last year.

The Union Federal government is believed to have expended all over Rs 3,500 crore this year as export support as opposed with ₹6,250 crore last year.

“Government coverage will be the essential to the sugar industry’s fortunes and growers’ welfare,” reported MEIR Commodities’ Shaikh.

Pros and downsides

Even though sugarcane is an effortless crop to improve, it has its individual pros and downsides. The crop guzzles h2o. For illustration, farmers in h2o-starved Maharashtra use trillions of litres of h2o to cultivate sugarcane.

However sugarcane accounts for only four for each cent of the complete cropped region in the western Point out, it consumes 70 for each cent of the complete h2o applied for irrigation.

In accordance to the Commission for Agricultural Prices and Selling prices (CACP), in excess of two,500 litres of h2o is eaten to develop a kg of sugar.

Also, sugarcane growers at this time fetch 1.18 times return on their expenditure if the cane is planted. In situation of ratoon crop, which is really chopping the stem and leaving the root element intact, the growers fetch a return of two.8 times their expenditure.

The CACP has reported that the ordinary web return for sugarcane growers is 10 times the realisation of cotton and gram place collectively.

With inputs from Radheshyam Jadhav, Pune Vishwanath Kulkarni, Bengaluru Tv Jayan, New Delhi and Subramani Ra Mancombu, Chennai)

(This is element of a sequence of Kharif Outlook studies that have been showing up in these columns since last week. The studies will continue to appear in excess of the up coming handful of days.)