Over production of sugar in Maharashtra renders 9 million tonnes of sugarcane gathering dust

Maharashtra is facing a problem of plenty. Around 9 million tonnes of sugarcane still remain to be crushed in the final leg of the sugar season, reports Financial Express.

Sugar commisisoner Shekhar Gaikwad said the state is likely to produce around 13.2 million tonnes of sugar for the sugar season of 2021-22. Maharashtra has crushed more than 116 million tonnes of cane so far and around 9 million tonnes still remain to be crushed, he said.

The state had previously reported its highest production in the 2018-19 season at 10.7 million tonnes and has already diverted 1.2-1.5 million tonnes of sugar towards ethanol production.

Officials from the sugar commisisoner’s office said that around 60 harvesters are being sent to areas with excess cane to be able to complete crushing since cane workers are finding it difficult to harvest in the summer heat. Around 197 mills have participated in the crushing operations this season.

The initial estimate of the sugar commissionerate regarding sugarcane available in the state in the current season was around 110 million tonnes. However, after realising that sugarcane was more than expected, the figure went up to 12 million tonnes. Now, due to the abundance of sugarcane in parts of Marathwada region, the total availability of sugarcane is now assumed to be more than 125 million tonnes.

The Commissioner’s office said that harvesters from Kolhapur, Sangli, Karnataka are now being sent to Beed, Jalna, Latur, Nanded. Some of the factories are likely to run for another one and half months to complete crushing. Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who held a review meet, directed the sugar commissioner to take harvesters of mills that have complete crushing operations on a lease basis to complete crushing operations in a short time. Crushing in the sugar belt of western Maharashtra will continue by next month-end.

Meanwhile, the West Indian Sugar Mills Association (Wisma) has asked for a state government grant to transport and crush the excess sugarcane.

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