Sugar Industry In India

The sugar industry is the second most important agro-based industry in the country. India is the largest producer of both sugarcane and cane sugar and contributes about 8 per cent of the total sugar production in the world. Besides, khandasari and gur or jaggery are also prepared from sugarcane. This industry provides employment for more than 4 lakh persons directly and a large number of farmers indirectly.
  • Sugar industry is a seasonal industry because of the seasonality of raw materials. Development of the industry on modern lines dates back to 1903, when a sugar mill was started in Bihar.
  • Sugarcane is a weight-losing crop. The ratio of sugar to sugarcane varies between 9 to 12 percent depending on its variety. Its sucrose content begins to dry during haulage after it has been harvested from the field. Better recovery of sugar is dependent upon its being crushed within 24 hours of its harvesting.
  • Sugar factories hence, are located within the cane producing regions. Maharashtra has emerged as a leading sugar producer in the country and produces more than one-third of the total production of the sugar in the country.
  • Uttar Pradesh is the second largest producer of sugar. The sugar factories are concentrated in two belts – the Ganga-Yamuna doab and the tarai region.
  • The major sugar producing centres in the Ganga -Yamuna doab are Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Baghpat and Bulandshahr districts; while Kheri Lakhimpur, Basti, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Bahraich are important sugar producing districts in the Tarai region.
  • In Tamil Nadu, sugar factories are located in Coimbatore, Vellore, Tiruvanamalai, Villupuram and Tiruchchirappalli districts. Belagavi, Ballari, Mandya, Shivamogga, Vijayapura and Chitradurg districts are the major producers in Karnataka. The industry is distributed in the coastal regions i.e. East Godavari, West Godavari, Vishakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh and Nizamabad and Medak districts of Telangana.
  • The other States which produce sugar are Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Saran, Champaran, Muzaffarnagar, Siwan, Darbhanga, and Gaya are the important sugarcane producing districts in Bihar.
  • The relative significance of Punjab has declined, although Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Sangarur, Patiala and Amritsar are major sugar producers. In Haryana, sugar factories are located in Yamuna Nagar, Rohtak, Hissar and Faridabad districts.
  • Sugar industry is comparatively new in Gujarat. Sugar mills are located in the cane growing tracts of Surat, Junagarh, Rajkot, Amreli, Valsad and Bhavnagar districts.

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