Sugar factories should turn to ethanol production – Nitin Gadkari

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Pune, July 7, 2019 : Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the big production of sugarcane is a major problem for the sugar factories. Sugar factories are the growth engine of Maharashtra. There is no shortage of water in the country, but the water must be harvested in planned manner. Additional use of water is a social crime. Therefore, it is necessary to bring the sugarcane field to drip irrigation. Considering to the market supply and production of sugarcane, the factories need to emphasize on the preparation of by-products like ethanol rather than sugar. A transparent and visionary policy for the purchase of ethanol has been formulated by the union  government’s petroleum ministry.

He was speaking at the concluding session of three days “Sugar Council 20-20” which was organised by Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank on Sunday. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Co-operative minister Subhash Deshmukh, former union minister Sharad Pawar, administrative head of state co-operative bank Vidyadhar Anaskar, Maharashtra State sugar association president and legislator Dilip Walse-Patil, State bank’s governing board member Avinash Mahagaonkar, Dilip Bhande, managing director of the bank  Dr.  Ajit Deshmukh etc. were also present on this occasion.

The union transport minister further said that there is a need to emphasize on increasing the production by reducing the production costs in sugar factories. For this, sugar factories should use bio-diesel fuel. Mr. Gadkari said that the sugar factories also need to emphasize the use of Bio-CNG.  The Nagpur Municipal Corporation has brought all the vehicles under the Bio-CNG, while the efforts are being made to make diesel free to the five districts of Vidarbha, he added. About the closed and sick sugar factory, Mr. Gadkari informed that the government is making a new policy to emphasize the formation of sugarcane juice from ethanol.


CM Fadnavis said that to get rid of the problem of sugar industry, sugar factories should start the production of by-products with ethanol. The Center has taken several important decisions regarding ethanol and the state Government will prepare a single window system to overcome the problems of the license to set up ethanol manufacturing plants. The state government will also set up a special group of ministers under a service guarantee plan and this process will be completed in a month of time span.

CM Fadnavis added that the sugar industry is a very important component of the economy of the Maharashtra. Farmers will not be able to get relief until agricultural product do not get the proper treatment. Since sugarcane is a sustainable crop, farmers have turned to this crop on a large scale.  At the moment the sugar industry has been facing several problems. Excessive sugar production and international rates of sugar are the biggest problem today, he added. The CM further said that the market has become depleted due to the slowdown in the global market and the markets have further narrowed. To overcome this problem, we need to focus on the production of ethanol and other by-products, instead of just relying on sugar production, the chief minister said.

The Chief Minister said that the sugar factories have been facing major problem but state cooperative bank has made unprecedented efforts to the troubled out to these sugar factories in the last few days.  Now the bank has to make special efforts to make new investments in sugar factories. The state government is contemplating the need to formulate policy on closed and sick sugar factories, which have been stuck null and void by the state government and the banks, he added.

The Chief Minister said that the issue of water in the state is serious and the need to bring the sugarcane area under drip irrigation. He further said that the some factories have not responded appropriately to the scheme of micro irrigation system. The state government is ready to take stringent measures for them. The Chief Minister’s relief fund is our social responsibility. In spite of this, sugar factories have appealed to take up their share, in any case, the state government will stand firmly behind the sugar industry, Mr. Fadnavis emphasised.

Co-operative minister Subhash Deshmukh said, there are major  jobs opportunities in the state through sugar industry.  Sugarcane is a cash crop because the farmers think it is a permanent crop.  However, farmers and sugar factories also need to plan for water management for the sugarcane crops.

Parliamentarian Sharad Pawar said on this occasion that sugar industry is a major business in the state of Maharashtra.  The state is the second largest producer of sugar in the country.  There have been some problems in the sugar business.  He emphasised that there is need to find the permanent solutions.  He expressed satisfaction that the union government is taking a positive role in this regard.

A Coffee Table Book of “Sugar Council 20-20” was released at the hands of the dignitaries on this occasion. A sum of five crore rupees was handed over to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for the Chief Minister’s relief fund by the state co-operative bank.

Vidyadhar Anaskar has also delivered his speech on this occasion. Officials of the various cooperative departments, private sugar factories, farmers, officers, farmers were present on this occasion.