Maharashtra sugar factories asked to cut down output, focus on ethanol

Aurangabad: A top sugar federation in Maharashtra is encouraging factories to cut down on production of the sweetener in view of its surplus stock and instead focus on ethanol production. This will also help sugar factories in overcoming their losses, Maharashtra State Co-operative Sugar Factories Federation Chairman Jayprakash Dandegaonkar told .

The country produces about 310 lakh tonnes of sugar every year against the requirement of nearly 250 lakh metric tonnes. Even after a buffer stock for three to four months, there is enough sugar in the country, he said.

There is surplus sugar production even after export. So, even after cutting down on the production of sugar, there will be no shortage and rates will also not differ, he said.

“Maharashtra produces 90 to 100 lakh tonnes of sugar every year. We are moving ahead to cut the production by 10 lakh tonnes every year, and take up ethanol production and provide it to petroleum companies,” he said.

The country is aiming to achieve the target of 10 per cent ethanol blending with petrol by 2022 and 20 per cent by 2030. The government has also decided to give incentives to those who switch to ethanol production, which will help in overcoming the losses of sugar factories, he said.

“We plan to achieve the target of curtailing the sugar production by 2021-22. There is no need of any extra set-up for ethanol production. If a factory needs new infrastructure, the government will provide incentives,” Dandegaonkar said.

Maharashtra has around 100 co-operative sugar factories, of which nearly 60 are functional, he added.

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