Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative
India is the second largest sugarcane producer in the world...
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Seminar Paper

Introduction
Sugarcane is an important commercial crop of India next only to cotton and it is one crop that spreads across both in the tropics and the subtropics. Sugarcane area hovers around 5 million ha every year with a cane production of 350 million tonnes or thereabout, ranking second in the world after Brazil. The sugar industry is expanding over the years tremendously. In 1950 there were only 138 sugar mills which grew to 571 by 2005. The number has crossed to more than 600 as per the current figures. Out of these 600 and odd sugar factories, around 55 % are in the co-operative sector, 35 % in the private sector and 10 % in the public sector. However not all these sugar factories are functioning. According to a Government report, there are 162 sugar mills, which can be considered as sick and are not functioning due to various reasons (Press Trust of India / New Delhi, November 23, 2010) indicating the kind of crisis the industry is facing. Of these 162 sick mills, 139 are in the cooperative sector while the rest 23 are in the private sector. The main reasons for sickness of these sugar mills, as adduced by the Government, are non-availability of adequate raw material, poor recovery from sugarcane, lack of modernisation, high cost of working capital, control of molasses, lack of professional management and over-staffing. Besides, high state advised prices of sugarcane by some states are responsible for sickness of some sugar mills. The sugar industry's contribution, to the Indian economy is presently enormous with its total turnover of over Rs. 55,000 crores per year. The annual economic contribution of the sugar industry to the national exchequer through taxes amounts to more than Rs. 2800 crores annually. Read more..

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