After hitting an all-time high in 2018-19, sugar output in Maharashtra is likely to decline by 15 - 20 per cent in the crushing season 2019-20 (October - September) due to lower acreage in the current planting season, industry body National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) said.
Sugar output in Maharashtra, the largest sweetener producing state in India, was reported at 10.07 million tonnes for the season 2018-19 (October – September), a record high in the state. However, the deficient rainfall in 2018 resulted in a severe drought in the state. This is expected to hit sugarcane growth. Moreover, farmers have decided to switch to other crops like soybean and pulses amongst others to boost their farm income.
“Maharashtra hit a record sugar production surpassing the benchmark 10 million tonnes in the crushing season 2018-19. But, drought and crop diversion are set to reduce its overall cane sowing this year. We feel, total sugar output may remain 15 – 20 per cent lower at 8-8.5 million tonnes in sowing season (SS) 2019-20,” said Prakash Naiknavare, managing director, National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories, the Business Standard reported.