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Even as output is expected to rise, govt hints no plans to export sugar

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NEW DELHI: Sugar production in India is set to rise next season (October-September) because of the prospect of better monsoon, but govt indicated on Tuesday that there is no plan to allow export of the sweetener at least during the current season. Govt wants to keep a watch on the rainfall in different regions.

Responding to a question on the sidelines of the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) Council Meeting, Union food minister Parlhad Joshi said, “The sugar production is likely to be better this year than last time. But it depends on how rain pans out across the country. Going by the IMD prediction, there will be good rain.” In a supplementary question on the sugar export, the minister said, “Let’s first wait for the rains and we will take a call after assessing the production.”

In his address at the meeting, the minister said there is a need to carry out research to find how production can be increased and water consumption for the crop can be reduced significantly. “Sharing best practices and fostering research collaboration across nations is vital. Let us work together to develop high-yielding, disease-resistant sugarcane varieties, explore innovative uses for sugarcane, and promote sustainable practices throughout the value chain,” he said.

Union food secretary Sanjeev Chopra climate change puts a huge responsibility on all the ISO members as well as the sugar and ethanol industry to contribute to take the world towards net zero. He said that ethanol blending in petrol touched 15% in May and govt is confident of meeting the 20% blending target in 2025-26.

Stating that increasing share of ethanol produced from grains as a good sign, the secretary said they are hopeful of the quantity of grain-based ethanol production surpassing the fuel produced from sugarcane next year. Officials said that till now this year the share of ethanol produced from both sources is around 162 crore litres each.
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