National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) organized its 62nd Annual General Meeting at NCUI’s boardroom on Wednesday with very few delegates due to Covid-19. The meeting was presided over by Maharashtra’s former Minister and the newly elected NFCSF President Jaiprakash Dandegaonkar.
In his speech, Dandegaonkar said, “The sugar season 2019-20 has ended with a production of 274 lakh tonnes and a carryover stock of 105 lakh tonnes of sugar which becomes the opening stock of 2020-21. Indian sugar production in the 2020-21 season is estimated to be around 309 lakh tonnes as against 274 lakh tonnes in 2019-20”.
“The consistent overproduction of sugar is due to well-spread monsoon in the major sugar producing states of Maharashtra, Karnataka & record production in the State of Uttar Pradesh. The sugar industry provides a steady growing income for two million farmers’ households, besides providing employment for 50 lakh people working directly & indirectly in this sector. The Indian sugar industry is now the second-largest sugar producer in the world having an annual turnover of one lakh crore (13 billion US dollars)”, Dandegaonkar added.
The federation Vice-President Ketanbhai Patel, Director Prakash Kallappa Awade (MLA), former Cooperative Minister of Gujarat and its Director Ishwarsinh T. Patel, MD Prakash Naiknavare, and more than 20 delegates and others were present on the occasion. It is to be noted that the Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil is also on the federation board.
The Chairman further added, “the world sugar production during the season 2019-20 ended with the production of 1711.56 lakh tonnes and consumption of1702.74 lakh tonnes, leaving a marginal surplus of 8.82 lakh tonnes. The ensuing season 2020-21 is projected to be a correction season in terms of sugar production. The projected sugar production is 1692.35 lakh tonnes and the projected sugar consumption is 1723.77 lakh tonnes leaving a deficit of 31.42 lakh tonnes.
India had a total of 174 sugar mills producing 30.21 lakh tonnes of sugar annually. Out of these, only 30 were in the cooperative sector and accounted for only 14.9% of the total annual sugar production.
Highlighting the challenges before the Sugar industry, the Chairman said, ” Incentives may be considered to be given for encouraging the production of ethanol directly from sugarcane juice/sugar syrup. The Government of India may direct the States to enter into Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for production & purchase of green energy produced via cogeneration route”.
“CBDT may issue a circular declaring the cane price paid to be treated as valid business expenditure. Compulsory packaging of 20% of sugar into jute bags should be waived off. Budgetary provision should be made for creation and funding of Price Stabilisation Fund and Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP) be given top priority”, he demanded.
Generally, in the AGM of the federation, hundreds of delegates from several parts of the country used to come and attend the AGM but due to Covid-19, the meeting organized was very simple. And like last year, this year also the efficiency award ceremony was postponed.
During the AGM, the delegates from Maharashtra raised many issues pertaining to sugar factories and sought help in resolving them. Sahakar Maharshi Shankarrao Kolhe Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd representative Vivek Kolhe sought the federation’s help in the production of products that are at present 100 percent exported to China.
The federation Vice-Chairman proposed a vote of thanks.