New Delhi: India`s sugar production may slump
to about 13 million tonnes in the 2009-10 season as farmers
refrained from taking to the cash crop in a major way after
the Food Ministry suggested a smaller support price of
sugarcane, according to a leading farmers` body.
After producing about 26.4 million tonnes of sugar in the
2007-08 season, the country is likely to see a slump in output
to about 15.5 million tonnes in 2008-09, according to an
"The country`s sugar production may slump to about 13
million tonnes in the 2009-10 season (October-September) due
to the low statutory minimum price of sugarcane suggested by
the Food Ministry," Consortium of Indian Farmers Association
Convener K Prabhakar Reddy said.
The SMP is the minimum rate fixed by the Centre at which
sugar millers are mandated to buy cane from farmers.
The Food Ministry had suggested that the SMP for the next
season be fixed at Rs 107.76 a quintal, which was endorsed by
the Prime Minister`s Economic Advisory Council later.
"Going by the recommendation, farmers will get only Rs
1,077 for selling one tonne of sugarcane, which will be about
half the cost of production even if we take into account the
cost of production during this season (Rs 2,000)," Reddy said.
The area under the sugarcane crop has declined to 42.5
lakh hectares (LH) as on July 24 from 43.79 LH in the year-ago
period, according to official data.