Aurangabad, Apr 10 (PTI) Maharashtra has recorded an all-time high sugar production of 132 lakh tonnes this year, state sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad has claimed.
But, despite the high production, there is less possibility of the sugar prices coming down, the official told PTI on Saturday while speaking about issues related to excess sugarcane production and steps being initiated to tackle the situation.
He said 1,187 lakh tonnes of sugarcane has been crushed in the state till date this year, while about 90 lakh tonnes of the crop is still lying uncut in fields, mostly in the Marathwada region, he said.
“Maharashtra had a record of all-time high sugar production of 107 lakh tonnes in 2019-20. This year, it has reached nearly 132 lakh tonnes, which is again an all-time high record for the state, while Uttar Pradesh has so far produced 80 lakh tonnes of sugar so far this year,” Gaikwad said.
Various companies in the state have also earned Rs 9,000-10,000 crore from the production of 130 to 140 crore litres of ethanol (is a by-product of molasses generated on crushing of sugarcane), which is also an all-time high, he claimed.
The sugarcane crushing season in Maharashtra generally lasts for 120 to 140 days, and maximum 145 days. This year, around 20 sugar factories in the state will run for 160 days due to the high sugarcane production, he said.
“Around 90 lakh tonnes of sugarcane, including 60 lakh tonnes in Marathwada, is yet to be crushed. We expect that the sugarcane in Marathwada will be crushed by May 31 this year,” the official said.
The factories in Solapur are taking nearly 20,000 tonnes of sugarcane from Marathwada for crushing, he said.
The official said there is high availability of sugarcane cutting labourers in Beed, hence vehicles loaded with the produce are crowding outside factories for the crop crushing.
In contrast, Jalna is facing lack of such labourers, hence there is less crop cutting there and factories have to wait sometimes for getting the produce for crushing, he said.
“We have handed over a list of harvesters to factories in Marathwada and the latter are negotiating with them for cutting of the sugarcane crop lying uncut in fields,” he said.
The official said they have also come across cases of high charges being sought from farmers for cutting or transportation of their produce.
“If a farmer has paid an extra amount for the transportation of sugarcane to a factory, he can give us a written complaint. I have so far received 75 such complaints and we shall recover that amount from the persons concerned and give it back to farmers,” he said.
The official also said that the sugar produced in Uttar Pradesh is utilised in the domestic market, while the sugar produced in Maharashtra, which has areas close to sea ports, is preferred for export. PTI AW GK GK