Inaugurating the 11th Joint Convention and Sugar Expo, AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik called for improving yields of the sugar industry while keeping in mind the farmers and rural sector that is crucial to its success.
He added that while technology had played a huge role in refining final products there was need to allow this technology to be introduced in rural sectors too.
“The sugar industry accounts for the second biggest in the country. The unique feature is that 50 percent of it comes from the corporate sector with farmers accounting for the rest. There is currently a surplus of seven million tonnes in the country and there is a need for sugar mills to plan and work in an efficient manner,” he said.
The average yield of sugar per year is between 60 and 70 metric tonnes per hectare. Naik said there was a need to increase the yield with a serious look at increasing the recovery of products.
He also raised the possibility of alternative energy forms from the sugar industry. “Buggies that use up to 10,000 MW of power that can easily be generated from byproducts of the sugar industry.
Ethanol production and branding can help replace petrol and thus reduce pollution,” he said. R V Shirgaonkar well known in the industry said there was a need to look at prices of sugar. “There is a need for discussing innovation but the committee for regulating prices of sugarcane needs to be regulated. If prices fall, this creates a problem,” said Shirgaonkar.