Mumbai, September 21: Being India’s top sugar producing state, Maharashtra set to begin this year’s sugarcane crushing season from 1 November. The federal government wanted millers in Maharashtra, the country's second-biggest sugar producing state, to advance crushing of cane to boost supplies during the current festive season and keep a lid on local prices.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a cabinet meeting on sugar discussed about the possible requirements and measures needed to develop and bosst sugar industry. CM Fadnavis also issued directions to take all permissions and clearances for the sugar industry online from this season. Co-operative sugar factories have been asked to register all their members, who are farmers, online.
In the 2017-18 season, a little over 9 lakh hectares in Maharashtra has come under sugarcane cultivation, according to estimates of the state’s agriculture commissionerate and the Maharashtra State Co-operative Sugar Factories Federation.
In the 2016-17 season, sugarcane was grown over a substantially low acreage of around 6.3 lakh hectares, around 37% less than Maharashtra’s average sugarcane cultivation acreage of 1 million hectares.
This season Maharashtra estimates a sugarcane yield of 72.2 million tonnes and sugar production of 7.34 million tonnes, according to a press release issued by the chief minister’s office.
According to Sanjeev Babar, Managing Director of the Maharashtra State Co-operative Sugar Factories Federation, of these 170 factories, around 80 would be from the co-operative sector and the rest would be private mills. Less than 100 factories were operational in the 2016-17 season. CM Fadnavis asked the sugar factories to stick to the minimum fair and remunerative price (FRP) of Rs2,550 per tonnes of sugarcane determined by the central government.