International Sugar Journal

Mechanising sugarcane harvesting in China: A review* [Full subscriber]

As the third largest sugarcane producer in the world, China now grows about 1.5 million hectares of sugarcane and almost all of it is still harvested by hand. The process is slow and costly, labour productivity is low, and labour in countryside areas has become more expensive and difficult to recruit. There are strong economic reasons and policy support from the central and local governments in the main production areas driving the Chinese sugar industry towards mechanisation. The current cost of hand-harvesting sugarcane in China exceeds the cost of doing it by machine in Australia. In addition, it is estimated…

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