ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

SugarcaneSubscribe to Sugarcane

Agricultural Transformation or Compromising Food Security

A response to the paper “Water and Agricultural Transformation in India: A Symbiotic Relationship—I” by Mihir Shah, P S Vijayshankar, and Francesca Harris (EPW, 17 July 2021) argues that the solutions proposed in the paper will neither revolutionise India’s agriculture sector nor minimise the water and soil problems listed.

Are Subsidies Trade-distortionary?

To benefit the farmers green box subsidies may be given.

COVID-19 and the Sugar Cane Cutter Migrants of Maharashtra

There is an urgent need to issue a policy resolution to ensure the social security and safety of sugar cane migrant labourers in the light of Covid-19 crisis. A failure to do so would lead to an absurd situation for the state, sugar industry, farmers and, more so, for the migrant labour.

Sugar : Political Pricing of Cane

The approaching elections in Uttar Pradesh have upped the stakes in fixing the minimum support price for sugarcane in the state. The Rajnath Singh government wants to raise the state-advised price (SAP) by Rs 50 per tonne, from Rs 900 now, for the new crop year 2001-02 (October-September). The sugar industry in the state, which already has pending dues of over Rs 1,000 crore to be paid to farmers and is burdened with huge sugar stocks, wants the SAP to be maintained at the current level. However, given the political compulsions, it seems inevitable that there will be a hike in the sugarcane price. SAP-induced troubles afflict other sugar-producing states too. In Tamil Nadu, a white paper tabled recently in the assembly acknowledged that high SAP for cane has severely affected the finances of sugar mills in the state, pushing many into the red. Other states also have sugar mills reeling under huge debt burdens as a result of arbitrarily fixed cane prices.

Sugar : Looking for a Sweet Deal

Saddled with an 11-million-tonne stockpile of sugar, languishing exports and with expectations of yet another bumper crop in 2001-02 (October-September), the government is considering fresh subsidy measures to boost exports. As part of a special package, the food ministry is looking at a transport subsidy for sugar from the factory to the port. If implemented, this step, which is supposedly within WTO norms, is expected to yield a benefit of Rs 500-600 per tonne for exporters. The government is also proposing to allow the production and export of raw sugar for the first time. Raw sugar has an international market of 27 million tonnes and accounts for 70-80 per cent of the total market. Hitherto Indian mills have been allowed to produce only plantation white sugar, which has a limited world market. Other incentives to cut bulging stocks have been in the works for a while. These include encouraging the use of the by-products of sugar manufacture, such as of bagasse for cogeneration of power – for which amendments to the Sugar Development Fund are in the offing – and of molasses for production of ethanol for use as automobile fuel.
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