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Majority of Sugar Mills to Complete their Operations by End of January 2020 in Maharashtra

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

The Sugar Commissioner of Maharashtra, Shekhar Gaikwad, opined that over the next 30 days about 70 percent of the mills will complete their operations on account of lower cane availability. The sugar season in Maharashtra is in full swing but the majority of the mills are expected to finish their operations by the end of January 2020 because of lower acreage, diversion of cane for fodder & crop losses due to floods.

He further said that there has been large-scale diversion of cane for animal feed.

The numbers collated as on 15th December 2019 by the office of the Sugar Commissioner showed 68 co-operative mills & 56 private mills were active in the State. Collectively they crushed 81.81 lakh tonnes of sugarcane; 76.63 lakh quintals of sugar was produced with a recovery rate of 9.37 percent.

Generally, the sugar season in Maharastra starts after Diwali and continues till the end of March. But this sugar season (2019-20) is curtailed by about 60 days as the acreage has shrunk to about 8.22 lakh hectares, against last season’s (2018-19) 11.62 lakh hectares.

Before the onset of the monsoon season, was facing drinking water problems and shortage of animal fodder. Once the cane is cut the farmers are free to use the land for other crops, he said. According to the Farm expert Raoshaheb Pujari from Kolhapursaid the State that Farmers sold their cane to fodder contractors for better rates. Farm animals also prefer cane because of its sweetness.

Pujari  further added that in the region around Kolhapur, most of the mills will close by January. However, a handful of co-operative sugar mills, such as Shree Dutta, located at Shirol in Kolhapur, will continue with operations till March as they have over 45,000 member farmers and large areas under cane cultivation.

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