Raising concerns over the surplus sugarcane production in Solapur, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday urged sugar mills owners to reduce the production of sugar and increase the production of ethanol.
Gadkari was in Solapur on Monday for the foundation stone-laying ceremony of national highway projects. The minister said if the production goes on like this, then farmers would have no option other than suicide.
Meanwhile, India's sugar exports surged by 64.9 per cent to $4.6 billion in the financial year 2021-22 from $2.79 billion recorded in the previous year, according to the latest government data.
As per data released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), India exported sugar to 121 countries across the world during the financial year ended March 2022.
India is the world's second-largest sugar producer after Brazil. Since 2010-11, India has consistently produced surplus sugar, comfortably exceeding the domestic requirements. The record exports would enable the sugar producers to reduce their stocks and would also benefit the sugarcane farmers, as the increased demand for Indian sugar is likely to improve their realisations, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.
Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka account for nearly 80 per cent of the total sugar production in the country. The other major sugarcane-producing states are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Haryana, and Punjab.