Mill owners sour over sugarcane production

Published: 27th July 2013 11:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th July 2013 11:48 AM   |  A+A-


Sugarcane production in Tamil Nadu is likely to decline by 20 to 25 per cent next year and sugar mill owners are chalking out strategies to tide over the crisis during the lean period.

On one hand, the prices of sugarcane are rising while on the other, the prices of sugar is fixed. This is plaguing the sugarmills, said the owners during the 43rd Annual Convention of The South India Sugarcane and Sugar Technologists’ Association, here on Friday. 

Delivering the inaugural address, A Vellayan, executive chairman of Murugappa Group, said that the mills were still banking on only one variety of sugarcane and recommended methods of sugarcane farming.

He said that the per hectare cultivation in India was quite low when compared to other sugarcane producing countries like Brazil and Australia. The need of the hour is to improve soil health, he said, citing the example of China, which uses nearly 50 per cent organic fertilisers.  He also highlighted the various challenges faced by the farmers such as decreasing water table and labour shortage. Vellayan also suggested drip irrigation, besides mechanised farming to reduce the dependence on farm labourers.

Vellayan also said that the need of the hour for sugarmill owners was to shift from traditional production and generate more revenue.

Vice-chairman and managing director of Sakthi Sugars M Manickam said that the cane prices cannot be controlled as the cost of cultivation was going up. He also said that sugar mills were directly linked to farmers. whom  the government had to protect by offering them prices commensurate with their produce.

Ram V Tyagarajan, chairman and managing director of Arooran Sugars, said that globally, the sugar industry was facing a crisis.

The following year would be challenging for the sugar industry in Tamil Nadu as sugarcane production is likely to fall by 20 to 25 per cent, he said and predicted that it would stabilise only in 2014-15. Interestingly, his comments come in the wake of the data compiled by the Union Agriculture Ministry  which showed that the sowing area under sugarcane fell to 4.07 million hectare as on May compared to 4.57 million hectare area in the corresponding period last year. Lesser sowing is likely to affect India’s cane productivity followed by the proportionate decline in the country’s sugar output.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp