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Sugarcane Area & Distribution

SUGARCANEGeneral descriptionIntroduction·         Sugarcane contributes 60 per cent of the total sugar produced in the world. ·         Asia is the largest producer of sugar followed by Europe ·         Most of the sugar in Asia comes from sugarcane whereas in Europe from sugarbeet. ·         Sugar factories, being located in rural areas, support huge economic activities including generation of rural employment. ·         Sugarcane is a renewable, natural agricultural resource because it provides besides sugar, bio fuel, fibre, fertilizer and myriad of by products/co-products with ecological sustainability.           About 195 countries grow their crop to produce 1,324.6 million tons (more than six times the amount of sugar beet produced). Sugar Crop
  • Sugarcane and sugar beet are the main sources of sugar in the world.
  • Out of total sugar produced in the world 60 per cent is obtained only from sugarcane.
  • Asia is the largest producer of sugar followed by Europe. Most of the sugar in Asia comes from sugarcane whereas in Europe from sugar beet.
 Commercial Crop Sugarcane is an important commercial crop of India supporting the second largest agro-based industry-next only to the Textiles. It provides raw material for around 450 sugar mills in the country which utilize 45 per cent of the sugarcane produced. The balance sugarcane is utilized by the Gur and Khandsari industries-the two important village and cottage industries. About 35 million farmers are engaged in its cultivation and an equal number of agricultural laborers depend upon it for their livelihood. About half a million industrial workers are engaged in the sugar industry in the country.
  • The sugar industry contributes over 1,000 crores to the Central Exchequer as excise duty and taxes annually. Besides, almost an equal amount is realised by the state Governments through purchase taxes, cess etc.
Agro industrial crop ·         The sugar industry is one of the most important industries in the developing countries and about 114 countries in the world produce sugar from sugarcane. The main by-products of sugar industry are: 1. Bagasse, 2. Molasses, 3. Filter press cake·         The sugar industry by-products are vast potential reserves for human and animal consumption as well as capable of providing energy as renewable source. The crop and its by-products are useful raw material to over 25 industries; some important ones are shown in Table1.·         Besides these by-products there are other products also which are of less commercial value, viz. a. Sugarcane trash, b. Sugarcane tops, c. Wax, d. Boiler of Fly ash, e. Factory and Distillery effluents ·         In a typical sugar factory 100 tons of cane produces the followings: i.                   10 tons of sugar, ii.                 4 tons of Molasses,iii.              3 tons of filter mud, iv.              0.3 tons of furnace ash, v.                 30 tons remains surplus, vi.              About 30 tons of tops and leaves, vii.             1500 kWh of surplus power. Area and distribution:
Worldwise: Sugarcane growing countries of the world are lying between the latitude 36.7° north and 31.0° south of the equator extending from tropical to subtropical zones. This map depicts the distribution of sugarcane in the world.      Worldwide sugarcane occupies an area of 20.42 million ha with a total production of 1333 million metric tons (FAO, 2003). Sugarcane area and productivity differ widely from country to country (Table 1). Brazil has the highest area (5.343 million ha), while Australia has the highest productivity (85.1 tons/ha). Out of 121 sugarcane producing countries, fifteen countries (Brazil, India, China, Thailand, Pakistan, Mexico, Cuba, Columbia, Australia, USA, Philippines, South Africa, Argentina, Myanmar, Bangladesh) 86% of area and 87.1% of production.Sugarcane area and productivity differ widely from country to country (Table 1)  Table 1. Sugarcane In The world: Area, Production And Productivity 
CountryArea(million ha)Production (million tons)Productivity(Tons/ha)
Brazil 5.343386.272.3
China 1.32892.365.5
Mexico 0.63945.170.6
Colombia 0.43536.684.1
Australia 0.42336.085.1
Indonesia 0.35025.673.1
Cuba 0.65422.935.0
South Africa0.32520.663.4
Argentina 0.29519.265.2
Bangladesh 0.1666.841.2
WORLD 20.421333.265.2
  • The crop is cultivated in 4.22 m ha producing 300 mt with a productivity of 70 t/ha. Along with white sugar, khandsari (indigenous) sugar and gur(jaggery) are also consumed in the country.
  • Sugarcane is cultivated in the most of the Indian states at present. Uttar Pradesh has the largest area almost 50 per cent of the cane area in the country, followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana and Punjab. These nine are the most important sugarcane producing States.
  • Productivity-wise, Tamil Nadu stands first with over 100 tonnes per hectare followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra. Bihar has the lowest productivity among the major sugarcane growing States.
 Area,    Production    and    Yield     of   Sugarcane    during   2004-05 and 2005-06  in respect of major Sugarcane Producing States  along with  coverage under Irrigation


Area%  of TotalAreaProduction%  of TotalProductionCumulative%  of TotalProductionYieldArea%  of TotalAreaProduction%  of TotalProduction Cumulative%  of TotalProductionYield  
123456789    10111213
T N0.348.1035.1112.4970.931046710.236.2823.409.8768.58100845
And P0.235.4817.666.2883.71767650.215.7415.746.6481.2574948
Uttar 0.102.386.132.1893.98607330.113.016.442.7293.5160196
M P0.061.432.430.8698.12436940.051.372.150.9198.3340914
Others 0.020.482.100.75100.00@
All India4.20100.00281.17100.00 669283.66100.00237.08100.00 64752
@ - Since area/ production is low in individual states, yield rate is not worked out.
Note: States have been arranged in descending order of percentage share of production during 2005-06. 
*  Provisional 

Sugarcane growing regions

  • Broadly there are two distinct agro-climatic regions of sugarcane cultivation in India, viz., tropical and subtropical.
  • However, five agro-climatic zones have been identified mainly for the purpose of varietal development. They are
1.     North Western Zone 2.     North Central Zone 3.     North Eastern Zone 4.     Peninsular Zone 5.     Coastal Zone. Tropical Sugarcane region
  • The tropical sugarcane region consists of sugarcane agro climatic zone 4 (peninsular zone) and 5(Coastal zone) which includes the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Pondichery and Kerala.
  • In the coastal areas of A.P. and Tamil Nadu there are extensive sugarcane areas with high sugarcane productivities.
  • Floods, water logging diseases such as red rot are the main problems.
  • In the tropical region, sugarcane gets more or less ideal climatic conditions for its growth. So it contributes about 40 per cent to the total cane production in the country.
  • The productivities are higher.
  • The average cane yields of the major states of the region (Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat) are around 80 tonnes per hectare.
  • Maharashtra and the adjoining area of Karnataka, Gujarat and A.P. record higher sugar recoveries.
  • Long hours of sunshine, cool nights with clear skies and the latitudinal position of this area are highly favourable for sugar accumulation. Average recoveries of Maharashtra and Gujarat are highest in the country.
  • Moisture stress during the early part of the cane growths mostly during March to June is an important problem.
  • Smut and red rot are important disease affecting sugarcane production in the plateau region and coastal areas, respectively.
  • Among the pests, early shoot borer, particularly in the late planted crops, is considerably serious.
Sub-tropical sugarcane region
  • Around 60-65 per cent of total cane area in the country is in the sub-tropics. U.P, Bihar, Haryana and Punjab comes under this region.
  • Extremes of climate are the characteristic feature of this region.
  • During April to June, the weather is very hot and dry.
  • July to October is rainy season accounting for most of the rainfall from S-W monsoon rains.
  • December and January are the very cold month’s temperature touching sub-zero levels in many places.
  • November to March is cool months with clear sky.
  • The N-W zone comprising the areas in Haryana, Punjab, Western Rajasthan and Western U.P. has very low temperature in December-January which often causes frost.
  • During May and June, the temperatures are extremely high.
  • Because of extremes of weather, the active sugarcane growth is restricted to 4-5 months only.
  • In Eastern U.P, Bihar, and West Bengal, sugarcane suffers due to floods and water logging during monsoon months.
  • Several pests and diseases, particularly red rot and top borer and Pyrilla are common and serious problem.
  • The cane yields are lower in the subtropics due to short growing season, moisture stress, more pest and disease problem, floods and water logging and very poor ratoons.
The average yield of the four major states (U.P, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana) is around 55 tonnes per hectare.

Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology is the first agricultural university of India.
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