‘Sugar production may go down by 40 pc due to floods’
Pune: Officials from the Sugar Commissionerate fear that this year due to floods in Kolhapur and Sangli, production of sugar for the year 2019-2020 might get affected by 40 per cent in the State.
According to the officials, 40 pc of the total estimated area of sugarcane comes under flood-affected areas of Kolhapur and Sangli. “The total estimated area of sugarcane for the year 2019-2020 was around 8.43 lakh hectares,” said DI Gaikwad, Joint Director (Development), Sugar Commissionerate.
“Sugarcane area in Kolhapur was 1.52 lakh hectares and in Sangli it was 95,827 hectares. We do not have clarity on how much area was affected by the flood. However, it was anticipated that the sugar production for the year 2019-2020 might get affected by 40 per cent,” said DI Gaikwad, Joint Director (Development), Sugar Commissionerate.
As per the State Sugar Commissioner office, the estimated sugarcane for the year 2019-20 for production of sugar was 632.25 lakh tonnes, while last year it was 952 lakh tonnes, which was 319.25 lakh tonnes less than the previous year. However, for the year 2018-2019, Maharashtra recorded highest production of 107.21 lakh tonnes while the estimated production for 2019-2020 was around 64 lakh tonnes. For year 2018-19, around 195 mills were involved in sugar production while it is estimated that for the year 2019-20, around 150 mills will be operating. “Last year due to drought, in places like Marathawada, the production of sugarcane reduced and now with the flood in areas like Kolhapur and Sangli, the production might reduce further,” added Gaikwad.
West India Sugar Mills Association (WISMA) Executive Director Ajit Chougule said, “Due to drought last year, there was 40 per cent reduction in sugarcane and with recent floods in Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara, there are chances of further downfall in production which will be a problem for sugar mills as they have lot of expenses like storage, FRP, working capital etc.”