Sugarcane in Maharashtra, Karnataka faces risks of deficient rain even as water levels recede

Monsoon delay Combined with lower levels in water bodies, this could affect the perennial sugarcane crop in Maharashtra and Karnataka, even as farmers are delaying planting fresh sugarcane for the 2023-24 season in these two states.

“The next 10 days will be critical for the sugarcane crop in Maharashta and Karnataka. Said Virendra Singh, Executive Director of Shree Renuka Sugars Ltdwhich operates seven sugar mills and three distilleries in these states. “Sugarcane cultivation is slow. Farmers have been seen delaying sugarcane cultivation due to lack of sufficient water,” Singh said.

Also read: Sugar production drops by 8% and farmers plant more sugarcane for the next year

dismal situation

The situation is bleak for sugarcane in western Maharashtra, said Abhijit Ghorbad, a sugar broker in Kolhapur. If it doesn’t rain next week, there could be about 15 percent damage. “Once the cane crop is damaged, it will be difficult to recover,” Ghorbid said, adding that the standing crop began to dry out and farmers began using it as fodder to feed their livestock.

Until last week, the total area under sugar cane sown nationwide reached 49.80 thousand hectares as of June 16, up less than a percent against 49.38 hectares a year earlier, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Reservoir levels in major sugarcane-growing areas of North Karnataka and Maharashtra are much lower than previous year levels due to lack of rain in the season, so far. Major cane-producing districts like Kolhapur, Belgaum, Sangli, Bagalkot, Satara and Solapur among others have seen a lack of rainfall this year.

Also read: Monsoon deficit narrows to 33% after recovery, set to enter Odisha, UP by June 22

“Lack of sufficient water has dried up sugarcane in about 10-15 percent of the district in Karnataka,” said Atthalli Devaraj, Secretary of the Karnataka Sugarcane Growers Association.

In Calgatagi, about half of the 25,000 acres planted with sugar cane have dried up this year. “It hasn’t rained after Diwali and the wells have dried up. As a result, the perennial crop dries up,” said Olovapa Balgiri in Kalgatje, from where 20 factories produce sugarcane in northern Karnataka.