Source : Business Standard | Virendra Singh Rawat | Lucknow Last Updated at March 19, 2020 21:09 IST[sharethis-inline-buttons]
- The state produces more than 1,126 mn litres a year, CM claims
- 60 sugar mills likely to produce ethanol by 2021-22
- UP government has embraced challenge and been successful in integrating sugar sector with ethanol for the first time
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh sugar mills have ramped up total ethanol production of more than 1.4 billion litres (BL) per annum even as more capacities are in the pipeline.
According to the state sugar industry and sugarcane development department, at least 25 sugar mills in UP had already started ethanol production from ‘b heavy’ molasses, thus providing the much needed liquidity to the state sugar sector during the current times of sugar glut and price crash.
The state government has estimated that by 2021-22, about 60 sugar mills in UP would be producing ethanol from ‘b heavy’ molasses, while a few cooperative mills would also start the production of ethanol directly from sugarcane juice, which fetches even better prices.
The department said no sugar mill was producing ethanol from ‘b heavy’ molasses before the 2017-18 financial year and the feat could be achieved only under the present Yogi Adityanath government owing to its proactive stance.
Recently, chief minister Adityanath had said his government had successfully integrated the sugar sector with ethanol production for the accrual of sustainable benefit to the sugarcane farmers.
He said while the sugar mills during the previous regimes had either been sold or closed down, his government had revived the sector and was reopening the non-functional units for the benefit of local farmers and to boost the rural economy.
The CM said while nearly half of the mills in other sugar producing states had closed down, all the mills were still operational in UP and would continue to crush till all the cane gets exhausted for the season. He said the state was also supporting the rural based industries of khandsari (unprocessed sugar) and gur (jaggery).
Adityanath claimed the state was providing higher than the minimum support prices (MSP) to farmers in government procurement for wheat, paddy, oilseeds, pulses etc to buttress his point of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) having a pro-farmer agenda.
“Under the ongoing irrigation and canal schemes, nearly 2 million hectares of additional land would come under irrigation network, which would bring prosperity to the farmers,” he noted.
The sugar department said over the last three years of the regime, total sugarcane payments worth more than Rs 92,500 crore had been made to farmers since 2017, which included Rs 10,654 crore pertaining to the previous sugarcane crushing seasons.
Besides, 53 private sugar mills in UP were provided with Rs 2,916 crore in soft loan under the state government scheme in 2018 of Rs 4,000 crore to give them the financial aid to clear their outstanding dues.
At the same time, the beleaguered sugar mills were offered additional grant worth Rs 483 crore in the form of Rs 4.50 per quintal support against cane procurement in 2017-18 sugar crushing cycle.
Meanwhile, the state government has provided 113 new licenses to the khandsari (unprocessed sugar) units to provide a ready sugarcane value chain to farmers and to partly insulate the sector from the cyclical impacts. These 113 units have total capacity of more than 30,000 tonnes crushed per day (TCD), which is equal to 5 sugar plants.
The state has planned to launch the production of sulphur free sugar in nearly 15 mills by next year.
The state has also asked the private sector mills to clear their cane dues, which are also rising as the crushing season 2019-20 is well past midway.Earlier, the government had filed cases against the biggest defaulters under the essential commodities act and issued recovery certificates (RC) as well over the outstanding.[sharethis-inline-buttons]