Amit Savat, a younger farmer in Maharashtra’s Sangli, is clear about the crop he would like to plant this Kharif season. He favours sugarcane. “I want to recover losses,” he suggests, just after obtaining suffered large losses rising vegetables over the previous one particular-and-a-fifty percent a long time.
The Covid pandemic is one particular major rationale for the losses suffered by vegetable growers in his location. Like Savat, several growers in his location have shifted from cultivating grapes to planting sugarcane.
Pandurang Chavan, a farmer from the Kolhapur location in Maharashtra, bets that “sugarcane is the safest crop in the latest times of Covid”.
“Cultivation fees for other crops have multiplied and unseasonal rains, closure of marketplaces, cost of pesticides, labour availability and affordability have remained major complications for farmers,” he suggests, justifying his cause to shift to sugarcane planting this 12 months.
Maharashtra Sugar Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad suggests that additional farmers are shifting to sugarcane cultivation due to the fact of certain earnings.
“Sugarcane is comparatively a superior crop in contrast with many others with good returns. It is even a lazy crop as at the time you plant and cut the cane you can be sure the mills will acquire,” suggests Praful Vithalani, Chairman, All India Sugar Traders Affiliation (AISTA).
An edge in the circumstance of planting sugarcane is that growers want not fret. “It is the mills that want to fret about marketing sugar,” suggests Vithalani.
Ganpatrao Sawant, director of Sangli-primarily based Vasantdada Sugar Cooperative, concurs with the AISTA chairman. “There is uncertainty in the sector in view of the massive shares sugar mills carry. They have to commence the crushing season, but there are several mills that could possibly facial area a monetary crisis to commence crushing the subsequent season. Glut in sugarcane production will increase to the complications of farmers and millers,” he suggests.
In limited, the “safest” and “lazy” crop tag for sugarcane will probably lead to increased planting this kharif.
Stand-on your own ethanol vegetation
The Centre’s plan to permit stand-on your own ethanol vegetation and the insistence on they pay reasonable and remunerative price (FRP) to farmers could also encourage them to get up sugarcane farming additional significantly, suggests an Uttar Pradesh Sugar Mills Affiliation formal.
The simple fact that sugar exports have been good this 12 months besides the continual improve in the production of ethanol could be favourable for planting sugarcane, he suggests.
With Uttar Pradesh likely to the polls subsequent 12 months, the Condition government would be additional prompt in ensuring mills pay farmers on time as it would not want to antagonise this kind of a large vote financial institution on the eve of the polls.
In Karnataka, the third premier sugar-generating condition, sugarcane output is probably to improve by about 5 per cent aided by increased water availability and good pre-monsoon showers through the summer months.
RB Khandagave, Director, S Nijalingappa Sugar Institute in Belagavi, claimed the crop situation in Karnataka is good and the output would be increased by about 5 per cent.
Aside from good water availability, there is no report of pests attack or sickness, which should assistance the production, he claimed.
Khandagave claimed the roadmap for ethanol mixing introduced by the Centre will offer a major improve for cane cultivation in Karnataka.
Vithalani suggests that sugarcane attracts farmers as Indian growers are paid out 30-35 per cent additional than growers in nations this kind of as Thailand.
Rahil Shaikh, Managing Director of MEIR Commodities-India, claimed that the sugarcane crop would be slightly increased than previous 12 months. “Sugarcane planting is on the verge of completion. We will get to know the exact nearer to the peak monsoon time period, but we hope increased acreage in Maharashtra and Karnataka,” he claimed.
Maharashtra, UP state of affairs
This season to September, sugar mills in Maharashtra have generated 106.three lakh tonnes (lt) of sugar just after crushing one,012 lakh tonnes of cane with the crushing ending not long ago.
According to the Sugar Commissioner Office, farmers in Maharashtra cultivated sugarcane on eleven.42 lakh hectares in contrast with eight.22 lakh hectares in 2019-20. An believed 12 lakh hectares could possibly arrive below sugarcane with most gains coming from central Maharashtra.
Kolhapur and Pune regions dominate sugarcane cultivation in the Condition. These two regions crushed 46 per cent of the sugarcane to make 50 per cent of the complete sugar in Maharashtra in 2020-21.
In Uttar Pradesh, farmers planted sugarcane over 23.98 lakh hectares this season, marginally increased than 2019-20. “We even now do not know how significantly area will be covered this 12 months. The study is likely on and we will get to know by early July,” claimed the UPSMA formal.
Till May well 31, Uttar Pradesh mills have generated around a hundred and ten lt of sugar for the latest season that commenced in October.
Challenge of arrears
Sugarcane acreage in Karnataka is probably to be the exact same as that of previous 12 months or see a marginal dip, claimed Kurubur Shantakumar, President of Karnataka Cane Growers Affiliation.
Sugarcane is cultivated on ten lakh acres in the Condition, he claimed.
Mills in Karnataka crushed about 353.forty five lakh tonnes of cane through the latest season, Khandagave claimed. An additional 20 per cent of the cane was diverted to make jaggery as very well for seed applications.
If there could be any difficulty with regard to sugarcane acreage, it is the income that mills owe to farmers who provided sugarcane.
In Maharashtra, mills have paid out a internet FRP of ₹22,043.13 crore or ninety four.fifty two per cent of the complete payable FRP. Mills have to pay ₹1,277.44 crore to farmers as of June 2.
On the other hand, the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar factories Minimal has expressed issue over mills in the Condition providing sugar down below bare minimum providing price of ₹3,100 per quintal. This has led to paucity of funds, which could influence payment to growers subsequent season.
In Karnataka, the cane arrears are to the tune of over ₹1,000 crore for the latest season, even though there is an excellent of ₹300-four hundred crore from the past a long time, Shantakumar claimed.
The outlook of a increased sugarcane production comes at a time when this season’s sugar production has been believed at 32.eight million tonnes (mt) with over two mt likely in the direction of ethanol production. Past season, production was 27.four mt.
The USDA has projected that Indian sugar production subsequent season would be a different two mt increased, but it would consequence in India carrying forward a increased inventory than the eleven mt projected this 12 months.
The Indian sugar sector has been buoyed by government plan that gave transportation and other guidance for exports. This has assisted exports touch 6 mt this season in contrast with 5.seven mt previous season.
The Centre came with a bundle that assisted each tonne of sugar exported to get ₹6,000 as guidance in contrast with an typical ₹9,750 previous season.
The Union Governing administration is believed to have used around Rs three,five hundred crore this season as export guidance in contrast with ₹6,250 crore previous season.
“Government plan will be the key to the sugar industry’s fortunes and growers’ welfare,” claimed MEIR Commodities’ Shaikh.
Execs and disadvantages
Although sugarcane is an uncomplicated crop to develop, it has its individual professionals and disadvantages. The crop guzzles water. For case in point, farmers in water-starved Maharashtra use trillions of litres of water to cultivate sugarcane.
Although sugarcane accounts for only four per cent of the complete cropped area in the western Condition, it consumes 70 per cent of the complete water utilised for irrigation.
According to the Fee for Agricultural Expenses and Price ranges (CACP), over 2,five hundred litres of water is eaten to make a kg of sugar.
Also, sugarcane growers currently fetch one.18 times return on their investment if the cane is planted. In circumstance of ratoon crop, which is really reducing the stem and leaving the root part intact, the growers fetch a return of 2.eight times their investment.
The CACP has claimed that the typical internet return for sugarcane growers is ten times the realisation of cotton and gram place together.
With inputs from Radheshyam Jadhav, Pune Vishwanath Kulkarni, Bengaluru Television Jayan, New Delhi and Subramani Ra Mancombu, Chennai)
(This is part of a collection of Kharif Outlook reports that have been appearing in these columns due to the fact previous week. The reports will proceed to show up over the subsequent several times.)