Challenges, opportunities in sugarcane sector post Covid

The sugar market calls for a paradigm change to be sustainable and lucrative in the lengthy run. There is gentle at the conclusion of the tunnel, although, with a lot of begin-ups and improvements, mentioned market captains at a recent webinar on ‘Combating article Covid-19 difficulties in sugarcane sector by means of appropriate systems and approaches’.

With potential utilisation dropping to 35-40 for every cent considering the fact that the announcement of the lockdown in March, the sugar mills in Tamil Nadu have been combating hard to survive.

“We have difficulties outside of Covid. There could be a second wave and that could be a serious menace, specially through peak year (December-March). We have to occur to conditions with the new ordinary — localised outbreaks and lockdown,” mentioned SJ Lakshman, AVP, EID Parry (I) Ltd, stressing the have to have for a paradigm change to keep on being sustainable and lucrative in the lengthy run.

“The aim should really be on two-a few varieties, on varieties for ethanol with larger brix and shorter length, probability of sugar beet as an inter-crop, sweet sorghum varieties for ethanol and so on…,” mentioned Lakshman.

“At 1 time, we had been pioneers in yield and engineering, but nature has been in opposition to us in the last 5 a long time,” observed R Varadarajan, full-time director, Rajshree Sugars.

Production potential

Although emphasising the have to have to aim on sugarcane in view of the actuality that the sugar recovery in TN is not only below the nationwide common, but has fallen from nine.five for every cent to hover close to 8.6 for every cent, Varadarajan mentioned, “The State’s sugar manufacturing has slid from 2.42 lakh tonnes in 2011-twelve to an believed .87 lakh tonnes in 2020-21. At this level, even if Tamil Nadu is dropped off the sugar map, the state would not know.”

M Silvester, full-time director, Kothari Sugars and Chemicals, mentioned that only 26 of the 43 sugar mills (in the non-public and cooperative sector) in the Point out had been operational, and that far too at properly-below optimal potential.

The space less than sugarcane has fallen by 50 % considering the fact that 2014-fifteen from four.sixty lakh acres to an believed 2.30 lakh acres in 2019-twenty. “Rainfall deficit, depleting floor water table, delayed payment to cane farmers, decreased web income (for the farmer) compared to other crops, labour scarcity and growing price of labour, followed by Covid — which is paralysing total activities” are at the rear of the pattern, he mentioned.

“Around 23 million farm labourers have moved out of agriculture in the last eight-nine a long time. And this has further more been afflicted in the aftermath of the pandemic. The way forward for agricultural labourers would be to encounter the new difficulties head-on as the luxury of work from residence is not doable in agriculture,” he additional.

Stating that mechanisation of cane manufacturing system would be the software to battle Covid-19 difficulties, sugarcane expert K Nagendran cited accomplishment tales of cane farmers. “Innovation is the crucial and entrepreneurial functionality of the prosperous farmers is noticeable,” he additional.

Organised by the ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute here, the webinar was aimed at strategising methods to tide more than the article pandemic difficulties.

Federal government assist

Highlighting some of the initiatives taken by the Point out government to revive the market, Reeta Harish Thakkar, Commissioner, Sugar, TN government, mentioned, “The utilisation potential of the mills has dropped to 35-40 for every cent considering the fact that the announcement of the lockdown in March we have resolved to keep on with the transitional manufacturing incentive, provide transportation subsidy of ₹100 for every tonne of cane (to which an allocation of ₹106 crore has been produced for 2020-21), disburse NADP subsidy and lengthen the micro irrigation plan subsidy less than Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana 2020-21.”

“The government has settled ₹169 crore to the TN Generation and Distribution Company on behalf of the sugar mills, so the Company could in switch pay the market, which would help (the latter) settle the cane dues to farmers,” the Sugar Commissioner mentioned.

Bakshi Ram, Director of the century-aged Sugarcane Breeding Institute, spoke about the two recent initiatives such as good quality seed manufacturing less than farmers participatory programme (which is getting pursued for the second consecutive yr) and release of Co 11015, a shorter length cane range.

A letter from the Editor


Pricey Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has altered the environment totally in the last couple months. All of us have been locked into our properties, financial exercise has occur to a near standstill.

In these tricky occasions, we, at BusinessLine, are making an attempt our best to make certain the newspaper reaches your fingers each working day. You can also access BusinessLine in the e-paper structure – just as it seems in print. Our site and apps far too, are updated each minute.

But all this will come at a heavy price. As you are mindful, the lockdowns have wiped out just about all our total revenue stream. That we have managed so considerably is thanks to your assist. I thank all our subscribers – print and electronic – for your assist.

I appeal to all our readers to help us navigate these tough occasions and help maintain 1 of the really independent and credible voices in the environment of Indian journalism. You can help us by subscribing to our electronic or e-paper editions. We provide numerous reasonably priced membership ideas for our site, which includes Portfolio, our expenditure advisory area.

Our subscriptions begin as low as Rs 199/- for every month. A yearly package deal expenses just Rs. 999 – a mere Rs 2.seventy five for every working day, less than a third the cost of a cup of roadside chai..

A tiny help from you can make a huge change to the induce of good quality journalism!

Help Top quality Journalism