The Sugarcane crop in the South and Central Maharashtra is suffering from extensive damage due to pest attacks and the output is expected to decline by about 10 to 15 percent which will cause extensive loss to farmers in the region.
A research paper prepared by Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) and shared with Business Line says that in South and Central Maharashtra, more than 16.85 per cent and 41.25 per cent area has been affected in 2016-17 due to the pest attack. An average 30 to 35 per cent area is affected. Sugar acreage in Maharashtra is about 0.95 million hectares in the 2016-17 season which is higher than the 0.633 million hectares acreage seen during the previous year.
It was estimated that a yield of 80 tons per hectare, with a cane availability of about 76 million tons or crushing season starting October this year. But on the back of pest attack, it is estimated that about 11.4 million tons of Sugarcane will be lost.
Similarly, States of Karnataka and Tamilnadu have been facing the same adverse condition due to continuous drought. The annual consumption of Tamil Nadu is estimated to be about 1.2 to 1.5 million tons, and the production in the coming season is estimated to be about 0.6 million tons