17 November 2021, Maharashtra: With the sugarcane crushing season for 2021-22 having started from October 15 in Maharashtra, sugar commissioner of the state, Shekhar Gaikwad, has predicted a record high sugar production this season. Gaikwad said that the area under sugarcane cultivation has increased this year to nearly 12.5 lakh hectares from 11.42 lakh hectares in 2020-21.
“This year, the area under sugarcane cultivation is the highest till date. Maharashtra has not recorded sugarcane cultivation on an area of 12.5 lakh hectares before. The crop quality is also good. It may also increase next year,” Gaikwad said.
One-hundred-and-ninety-five sugar mills had applied for license this crushing season out of which 172 have been issued licenses so far, with 131 having started operating. “We haven’t given licenses to mills who haven’t paid the FRP,” said Gaikwad.
As on Nov 15, 62 cooperative and 69 private sugar mills have become operational for this crushing season. A total 97.71 lakh metric tonnes of sugarcane has been crushed so far and 83.61 lakh quintals sugar has been produced. The recovery rate is 8.56%.
Gaikwad also pointed out that the sugarcane diversion to ethanol has already started. “It is estimated that this season, around 10 lakh metric tonnes of sugarcane will be diverted into ethanol production. This record has also started building up and this number, too, is likely to increase next year,” Gaikwad said.