India achieves distinction in Sugar export and further looks to double the Ethanol production capacity
In comparison to the export of Sugar in 2017-18, the country has exported 15 times more sugar in 2021-22 which is truly commendable in terms of the agrarian growth achieved despite the pandemic bottlenecks. The major importers of Sugar from India have been the UAE, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Afghanistan apart from African countries.
In the sugar season 2017-18 about 6.2 LMT of sugar was exported while in , 2018-19, 38 LMT of Sugar was exported. In 2019-20 the country exported 59.60 LMT of sugar. In sugar season of 2020-21the government had set a target to export 60 LMT of sugar however this target was conveniently surpassed and about 70 LMT of Sugar have been exported.
The government has released over Rs 14,456 Cr to sugar mills in the past five years in order to facilitate the sugar export. During this period, it has released Rs. 2000 cr as carrying cost for the maintenance of buffer stock.
Meanwhile, the government has been encouraging the sugar mills to divert excess sugarcane to produce ethanol to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuel and it has fixed target of 10 per cent blending of fuel grade ethanol with petrol which is being raised to 20 per cent blending by 2025.
Ethanol distillation capacity is also being increased on the back of the changes in policy of the Government. The capacity of molasses-based distilleries has already been increased to 569 cr litres while the capacity of grain-based distilleries has also increased to 298 cr ltrs subsequently the total ethanol production capacity has increased to 867 cr litres in the last eight years.
Since 2014 over the years more than Rs. 64,000 cr revenue has been generated by the distilleries and the sugar mills from the sale of ethanol. For the increased production of fuel grade ethanol, the distilleries are also being encouraged to produce ethanol from rice and maize available with the FCI.
The government has targeted to double the ethanol distillation capacities in the country by 2025 with encouraging policy measures. Such measures are also being looked at as the solution to ensure timely payment of the sugarcane dues of farmers.