Discover the Maharashtra government’s strategic decisions to regulate the sugarcane industry, safeguard revenues, and manage resources by banning molasses export and controlling jaggery production.
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Maharashtra – India: In a decisive move to safeguard its sugarcane industry’s revenue and adapt to expected production challenges, the Maharashtra government has declared significant changes to its policies on molasses—a critical byproduct in the alcohol and sugar industries.
Banning the Export of Molasses
The government has banned the export of molasses for the 2022-23 sugarcane crushing season.
Molasses, a raw material vital for producing potable alcohol, is a considerable revenue generator for the state.
The decision comes after an anticipated 15% drop in sugarcane production.
Molasses is not only crucial for alcohol production but also plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing of ethanol, aligning with the country’s ethanol blending program. This adaptation is particularly vital as crude oil prices are witnessing a surge.
Regulating the Sugar Industry
A regulatory framework upheld by the Sugarcane Control Order directs the sugar industry.
As per the Order’s guidance, sugar production operations cannot be initiated before the official commencement of the sugar season.
After an essential meeting of a ministerial committee this past Thursday, decisions concerning the 2023-24 crushing season were finalized.
“The crushing season of 2023-24 would begin from November 1,” confirmed sugar commissioner Chandrakant Pulakdwar.
Bringing Jaggery Production Units Under Regulation
In response to requests from the state’s sugar industry, the government will also introduce jaggery production unit regulations.
A growing number of khandsari (unrefined raw sugar) and jaggery units have proliferated, competing with traditional sugar mills for the limited sugarcane supply.
To ensure a balanced and equitable distribution of resources, jaggery production units with a capacity exceeding 100 tonnes daily will now fall under the ambit of the Maharashtra Khandsari Act.
“The number of khandsari units has increased substantially during the last few years. Some of them have also set up jaggery units in the same premises,” noted Sanjaykumar Bhosale, director (sugar), Maharashtra, shedding light on the competitive landscape that necessitated this regulatory adjustment.
In conclusion, these strategic changes by the Maharashtra government aim to stabilize and sustain the state’s sugarcane industry amidst changing market and production conditions.