India Becomes the World’s Largest Producer of Sugar
Recently, In the financial year 2021-2022, India had overtaken Brazil to become the world’s largest sugar producing country.
In the year 2021-2022, a total of 35.9 million tonnes of sugar was produced in India, while 32 million tonnes of sugar was produced in Brazil. Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are the major sugar producing states of India.
To support sugarcane producing farmers, the Central Government provides Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) and the State Governments issue State Advisory Price.
Benefits of increasing production of sugar:
- This creates employment opportunities.
- Foreign exchange of about Rs 40,000 crore has been received from sugar exports.
- Will help in achieving the target of 20% ethanol-blended petrol by the year 2025.
- The Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) program was launched in 2003.
Issues related to increasing production:
- Groundwater is being over-exploited for sugarcane cultivation, especially in drought-prone areas (such as the Marathwada region of Maharashtra).
- About 2 lakh liters of ground water is consumed in irrigation for sugarcane crop required to produce 100 kg of sugar.
- Soil acidification can be responsible for pollution in fresh water ecosystems, loss of biodiversity, etc.
Necessary Measures: Diversification in cultivation of crops; Promotion of drip irrigation, rain water harvesting, waste water treatment etc.
Other related facts:
- According to the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), 61.1 percent of the wells monitored during 2012 to 2021 have recorded a rise in groundwater level.
- Water is a State subject, therefore effective rain water harvesting/ recharging of ground water to increase the water table in the country comes under the purview of the States.
Source – The Hindu