Sugar mills in Maharashtra have filed bids to supply 1.11 billion litres of ethanol to oil marketing companies (OMC) for 2021/22 (December-November), according to local press reports.
The coronavirus COVID-19 is impacting sugar industry stakeholders in various ways. Following social distancing measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, farmers are facing problems in getting labourers to harvest their cane from the fields. In Maharashtra 56 out of 146 sugar mills have stopped crushing activity.
Cane acreage in Maharashtra, India’s second-largest sugar producing state, is expected to increase by 25% in the next crushing season beginning October 1, according to Economic Times.
When the 2017/18 campaign starts on December 1, sugar mills in Maharashtra with new cogeneration plants may not able to sell surplus power to the grid because the state utility has not signed agreements to buy the power, according to local press reports.
The Maharashtra state government is set to introduce a policy for shifting 50% of sugarcane farming on drip irrigation in the next two years, according to Hindustan Times.
The government’s decision is in line with the recommendations of the Madhav Chitale committee. The panel had pointed out that sugarcane is a water-intensive crop.
According to preliminary estimates, the acreage in the next crushing season may remain 650,000-700,000 hectares, said Sanjeev Babar, managing director of Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Mills Federation (Sakharsangh). The availability of cane for crushing could be about 55 million tonnes, he said.