The Future Of Maharashtra’s Sugar Industry


Sugar industry’s maintenance in India has grown quite well. Millions of people in India are associated with this industry. India is currently the world’s largest sugar producer and consumer, beating Brazil. It is also the second largest sugar exporter in the world. Around 45 million sugarcane farmers are associated with this industry and it is their source of livelihood. Maharashtra’s sugar industry is one of the largest in the country, and the state’s share of sugar production is also higher than that of other states. If we see numerically then in the 2021 to 2022 time period, India produced 5000 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of sugarcane in the sugar season, of which 3574 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) was crushed in sugar mills to produce 394 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of sugar. During 2020-2021, India exported 109.8 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of sugar abroad, generating 40,000 crore foreign exchange for the country. Needless to say, most quantities of sugar are produced in the north and south-west regions of India of which Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra produce. If we see then, 40% of India’s total sugar production comes from Maharashtra. Maharashtra mills produced 10.5 million tonnes of sugar under tenure during 2022-23.However, Maharashtra sugar industry is facing various problems like deficiency in rainfall, various problems in mills, labor-capital gaps, various politico-economic hustles have been faced by the Maharashtra Sugar Industries. Moreover Maharshtra being the one of the richest states in India but most of its parts are driven by various issues, one of which is the ingrowing solution of the Sugar Industry and its future diaspora. Facing all these issues related to Sugar Industry this paper will broaden the thesis of urging for betterment of the Sugarcane Industry for a sustainable life by the Farmers of Maharashtra and in prior to it’s antithesis as the multifaceted character of state actors. This paper will search for the quest of sustainable future as a synthesis below. 

Keywords: Sustainable Growth, Maharashtra, Sugarcane Industry, Economy.


The agricultural Sector of India contributes to 18.3% of India’s total GDP. Sugarcane crop plays an important role in the economic development process in India. Sugarcane crop is especially famous in North India (e.g. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab and Uttarakhand) and South West regions of India(e.g. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh). Maharashtra is a leading state in sugarcane production. In this fiscal year 2020, about 122 billion Indian rupees have come to the Indian economy from the sugar industry of Maharashtra. Maharashtra produced 137.28 lakh tonnes of sugar in the recent year, which is 30.88 lakh tonnes more than the previous year. Earlier sugarcane morai period used to be 90-120 days but this year it has increased to 240 days. About 200 sugar industries in the state have joined sugarcane processing  in this year which is much more than the previous year. This year the industries have crushed about 306.67 lakh tonnes more sugarcane than last year. If seen on the basis of state regions, Kolhapur produced 30.04 lakh tonnes, Pune 29.12 lakh tonnes, Solapur 28.43 lakh tonnes, Aurangabad 12.92 lakh tonnes, Nanded 15.32 lakh tonnes, Amravati 0.96 lakh tonnes and Nagpur 0.38 lakh tonnes of sugar this year (2022-23). Sugarcane industries in Maharashtra are facing considerable crisis. This year sugarcane production has decreased by 20-25% compared to previous year due to change in monsoon direction and lack of rain during summer this year. Where there was so much production during the period 2022-23. Pune, known as the sugar hub of Maharashtra, has 19 percent water storage in the dams now compared to the previous year. If we look at the Policy approach then some of the policies implemented by the government is an important problem among them, for example the FRP (Fair and Remunerative Price) System, which will be described below. 

Needless to say, after independence, cooperative sugar factories played a special role in the development of rural areas of the state. Co-operatives do business with the state government through shares, so the entire burden of production does not fall on the government alone. In 2011 there were only 202 sugar factories in the state, after 2011 when cooperative movement took place in Maharashtra and the number of factories increased by about 32%. Dhananjaya Rao Gadgil, Bithalrao Vikhe Patil and some names emerging from the private sectors like Walchand Group, Somaiya and Dahanukers, revolutionized the Sugarcane Industry in Maharashtra. The participation of private companies in multifaceted industrial systems like the sugar industry has brought about recent changes. Around the sugar industry came the development of jaggery and khandsari, small MSMEs, milk industry, ethanol, and various other crude industries. 

As a result of rampant globalization, the sugar industry of Maharashtra is facing not only regional but global competition, shortage of rifles, lack of proper and adequate machinery, lack of proper planning, problems related to water consuming capacity, role of private players in sugar industry, corporatization of sugar industry etc. Bullets have created several obstacles to the growth of the sugar cane industry. Sugar is a commodity whose use is a daily necessity in human life, the fluctuation in the price of sugar not only creates problems in human life but also creates variation in India’s annual GDP. Sugar production in India and its sustainability is a matter of great importance for present and future generations, and the following paper will try to draw a parallel discussion on this. 

Data Methodology

Based on the sugar industry of Maharashtra, the article is mainly written using secondary data. The main research goal of which is the future sustainable development of the sugar industry in Maharashtra which will help the future generations to sustain their economy. The main approach used in secondary research is literature review. The following few papers attempt to go deeper into the mentioned topic and give a new dimension to the paper. ‘Sugar Cooperatives in Maharashtra: A Political Economy Perspective’ written by Mala Lalvani, this paper provides a comprehensive picture of the politics surrounding the sugar industry in Maharashtra. ‘The Current Sugarcane Pricing Policy & its Critical Analysis’ by Mr. Tarun Sawhney, in his paper presents a holistic picture of the whole system of sugarcane industry in Maharashtra. This writing of his is basically a presentation based writing. State Intervention: A Gift or Threat to India’s Sugarcane Sector? written by Abnave Vikas, B.M. Devendra Babu, is one of the most important papers which has drawn on the sugarcane industry not only in Maharashtra but in India as a whole. From which an intermediate picture of the whole of India emerged in Lekhni. Studies on extraction of sugarcane wax from press mud of sugar factories from Kolhapur district, Maharashtra, by Bhosale P. R., Chonde Sonal G. and Raut P. D., the authors here show how low cost sugarcane cultivation is possible by proper use of press mud. An Economic Analysis of Sugarcane Cultivation and its Productivity in Major Sugar Producing States of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra by Priyanka Upreti* and Alka Singh, this paper is an economics based paper. In the paper, his statement about production, productivity, costs, returns and profitability of sugarcane industry has been published. Apart from the mentioned papers, government documents and political, economic articles have been used to flesh out the essence of the paper.

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Priyanka Das