Even as Maharashtra closed its 2021-22 sugar season on Tuesday producing historically highest sugar, the state is already staring at breaking this record in the next season starting October 1, said state’s sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad.
“Maharashtra’s sugar mills have produced 138 lakh tones of sugar, which is the highest quantity ever produced since the inception of the sugar landindustry in the state. The 2021-22 also proved to be the year of longest crushing season, as the mills operated for 240 days,” said Gaikwad
“With this, Maharashtra has surpassed countries like China, Russia, Thailand, Australia become a sugar producing region, which is next only to Brazil,” said Gaikwad.
This year, India has become the largest sugar producer in the world, pushing Brazil to the second position.
Next year, the state is likely to break its own record of the current season.
“The process of taking review of area under cane for the next year is currently underway. So farm, 95% of the sugar mills have informed us that next year, the area planted under cane in their jurisdiction will be higher than the current year,” said Gaikwad.
To avoid crushing cane in during the peak summer months, the office of the sugar commissioner of the state is going to propose an early start to the crushing operation in 2022-23, which is about four months away.
Maharashtra broke one more record by crushing 1320 lakh tonnes of sugarcane. The sugar mills have paid Rs 37,712 crore of FRP till date to the farmers, which is 95.28% of the total payable FRP of the farmers.
The state government had to struggle to crush the excess cane in the current season as the harvesting labour refused to work in the months of April and May. For the next year, the share of mechanised harvesting is set to increase as 200 more harvesters are likely to be added taking the total to 1000 harvesters.
BOX: Maha opposes CACP recommendation of increase in base recovery to 10.25%
The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), which recommends the fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane, has suggested to increase the basic recovery from 10% to 10.25% from the 2022-23 season.
However, Maharashtra government has conveyed to the CACP to keep the base recovery unchanged as frequent changes to it can confuse the farmers.
In the ongoing season, the FRP is Rs 290/quintal for a basic recovery of 10%. Sugar recovery is the proportion of sugar extracted from sugar, while the FRP of cane goes up with higher sugar recovery percentage.