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Sugar Supply at Affordable Prices Ensured by Dept of Food & Public Distribution

India's strategic planning and unwavering commitment to ensuring a steady supply of sugar at reasonable prices have yielded positive results, benefitting both consumers and cane farmers.

Shivam Dwivedi
Dept of Food & Public Distribution Ensures Abundant Sugar Supply at Affordable Prices (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Dept of Food & Public Distribution Ensures Abundant Sugar Supply at Affordable Prices (Photo Source: Pixabay)

The Department of Food and Public Distribution has announced that India has successfully maintained a consistent supply of sugar at affordable prices throughout the country for the entire Sugar Season 2022-23, which concludes on September 30, 2023.

It is due to the timely interventions by government, the nation has exceeded a sugar production level of 330 LMT (Lakh Metric Tonnes), excluding the diversion of approximately 43 LMT for ethanol production. Consequently, India is poised to achieve a total sucrose production of about 373 LMT, marking the second-highest yield in the past five sugar seasons.

To prioritize the well-being of its citizens and facilitate prompt payments to cane farmers, India has limited its sugar export quota to approximately 61 LMT. This strategic decision has led to an optimal sugar stockpile of roughly 83 LMT as of the end of August 2023. This stockpile is deemed sufficient to meet the nation's sugar consumption needs for approximately three and a half months, assuring domestic consumers of continued access to reasonably priced sugar in the foreseeable future.

As per the Indian Meteorological Department's forecasts, the monsoon has maintained normalcy in September 2023. The sugarcane-growing regions of Maharashtra and Karnataka have also benefited from timely rainfall, which bodes well for improved crop yields and sugar production in the upcoming Sugar Season 2023-24. State Cane Commissioners across all sugar-producing states have been diligently monitoring crop status, including cane acreage, yield projections, and anticipated sugar production. This information will form the basis for any decisions pertaining to the sugar export policy for the next season.

India's unwavering commitment to ensuring domestic sugar availability, ethanol production diversion, and maintaining an adequate closing balance at the end of each season is at the core of its sugar policy. Only surplus sugar, if available, is earmarked for export. This approach has effectively stabilized sugar prices in the domestic market and is a testament to the fact that Indian consumers enjoy access to sugar at competitive prices without government subsidies to sugar mills.

Furthermore, as a proactive measure, the Government of India has initiated efforts to collect information related to traders from various sugar mills. This endeavor aims to establish a robust mechanism for monitoring sugar stocks across different regions of the country. Industry associations have also provided positive feedback, confirming ample sugar stocks and commending the achievement of an optimal closing balance at the end of the season.

As a result of these collaborative efforts between the government and industry stakeholders, more than Rs1.07 crores, equivalent to 94% of cane dues for the current season, have already been disbursed by mills. This accomplishment serves to boost farmers' confidence in the Sugar Sector, fostering a positive outlook for the industry.

The nation's efforts to maintain a balance between domestic consumption, ethanol production, and exports have contributed to price stability and financial health in the sugar industry.

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