Programmes  I  Sugarcane

In the sugarcane sector Prakruthi has partnered in the Better Sugarcane Initiative (BSI) with international NGOs World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Solidaridad and the sugar processing company E.I.D. Parry in Tamilnadu. BSI is a system of sugarcane production that involves the use of less seeds, less water and optimum utilization of fertilizers and land to achieve higher yields. In a pilot project, Prakruthi and E.I.D. Parry are working with 1000 sugarcane farmers in Pattavaithalai area in Tamilnadu to promote sustainable cultivation practices. The present intervention has tremendously improved the social, environmental and economic sustainability and quality of sugarcane production in this region. Therefore, this project will be up-scaled to involve 40.000 farmers in the coming years.

 
Sector

India is one of the largest sugar producing countries in the world. In the Indian sugarcane sector, more than 50 million farmers and half a million agricultural workers are producing around 26 million MT of sugar for export and domestic markets. In terms of volumes consumed, the Indian domestic sugar market is one of the largest markets in the world. In recent years the demand for sugarcane has increased as a result of the rising demand in the bio-ethanol markets with Indian Government mandating 5 percent ethanol blend in nine states. After the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh (30%) and Maharashtra (27%), Tamilnadu (11%) is the third biggest sugar producing state of India. The annual economic contribution of the sugar industry through taxes amounts more than Indian Rupees 28 billion.

 
Landholdings

The production of sugar in India is unique in terms of landholding size. The size of total plots of more than 4 hectares comprises only 25 percent of the total area under sugarcane cultivation. The bulk of the land under sugarcane is between 1 to 4 hectares. The small sizes of the land holdings limit the extent of mechanization and reduce the ability of the smallholder to invest in farm productivity. The key priorities of sugarcane farmers is to tide through the cyclic price rise and fall and generate a remunerative income, minimize risks and establish a stable long-term relationship with the millers.

 
Sugar mills

The Indian sugar sector is composed of three distinct categories; public mills, private mills and cooperative mills. Public mills account for around 6 percent of production while the private mills account for approximately 40 percent and cooperative mills for approximately 53 percent. The numbers of private mills have been increasing rapidly in the recent years. There are at present 500 sugar mills spread across the country.


 
 
 
 
Bhagawanth Rao, 14, whose parents Soyam
Lachu and Lachu Bai cultivate about 20 acres of
dry land in Adilabad District,
 
   
 
 
 
 
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