Maharashtra became the single largest producer of sugar in the world with a production of 137.36 metric tonnes after the completion of the 2021-22 sugarcane crushing season with India at the top with an output of 355 lakh metric tonnes, followed by Brazil with 330 lakh metric tonnes. Thailand ranked fourth with sugar production of 110,000,000 metric tons, while China and Russia came in later with sugar production of 100,000,000 metric tons.
The state is expected to produce 138 million metric tonnes of sugar during the upcoming crushing season of 2022-23. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, in a ministerial committee he chaired, praised Maharashtra’s performance. Sugar cane is grown on 14.87 ha with an average sugar yield of 11.20%.
In the same meeting, it was decided that the sugarcane crushing season for 2022-23 in Maharashtra will begin on October 15 instead of October 1 in view of the continued rains mainly in the sugarcane growing areas of the state.
During the 2021-22 season, about 200 sugar mills crushed a record 1322 thousand metric tonnes of sugarcane and paid a fair and remunerative price (FRP) of Rs 42,375 crore, which is 97.87% of the total FRP payable of Rs 43,296 crore.
Sugar Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad in his presentation said that in 2022-23, sugarcane was grown on 14.87 lakh hectares of land with sugarcane availability of 95 tonnes per hectare. About 203 sugar mills, including cooperative and private, are expected to participate in the coming crushing season and produce 138 million metric tonnes of sugar.
The ministerial committee pointed out that the state produced 137.36 lakh metric tonnes of sugar in the 2021-22 season, surpassing Uttar Pradesh. This year’s crushing season is expected to average 160 days and the FRP for 10.25 per cent basic sugar yield has been fixed at Rs 3,050 per metric tonne, while for yields of 9.5 per cent or less, the FRP paid by mills to sugarcane growers, it decided at Rs 2821.25 per metric tonne.
The state will have sugar reserves of 30 thousand metric tons before the crushing season begins. Maharashtra’s sugar consumption in the country is estimated at 130 lakh metric tonnes, while at the country level it is 300 lakh metric tonnes. The state is expected to export 60 million metric tons.
In the case of ethanol production, Maharashtra has a 35 percent share at the national level with an annual production capacity of 211.37 million liters. According to the chief minister’s office, it has been decided to send a letter to the central government asking for the retention of last year’s policy regarding the Open General License for sugar exports. The CM emphasized the need for mechanization for sugarcane cutting and power generation through co-generation projects in the state.