1. Agriculture World

Low Cane Supplies Disrupt Tamil Nadu Sugar Mills

Shikha Parewa
Shikha Parewa
Sugarcan farming

Only few sugar mills have functioned during the current season on account of lower availability of cane in Tamil Nadu.

This season, only 28 sugar mills were operational: 12 in the cooperative sector, two in the public sector, and 14 in the private sector (October 2020-September 2021). In the state, there are 42 sugar mills, 16 of which are co-operative, two in the public sector, and 24 in the private sector. 

The lack of high-yielding new varieties, the vagaries of monsoon, the increase in cultivation costs, the scarcity of farm labour, and the stagnant sugarcane price during the last four seasons all contributed to low cane supply and low capacity utilization at Tamil Nadu sugar mills. 

This resulted in greater production costs & as a result, sugar mills in Tamil Nadu are experiencing severe financial difficulties and are unable to pay cane prices to farmers on time, according to the Policy Note 2021-2022 on Industries Department (Major Industries). 

However, the Tamil Nadu government would make attempts to raise the sugarcane growing area to 1.25 lakh hectares during the 2020-21 planting season by utilizing the good rainfall (984.6 mm) received in 2020. 

The state's sugar mills crushed 72.49 lakh tonnes (lt) of cane, with an average recovery rate of 9.12%. During the period of 2020-21, they produced 6.67 lt of sugar (up to May 31, 2021). Sugarcane crushed by mills accounts for less than one-fifth of the record cane yield of 389.75 lt in 2011-12. 

Because of the high quality of the Co 11015 variety and the desire to boost recovery of sugar mill, 20,000 hectares will be planted in all sugar mill command regions during the next planting season. Furthermore, in all sugar mill locations, novel sugarcane types such as CoG 6 and CoC 13339 are being proliferated. 

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