exhibits that there has been marked improvement in the area and production of sugarcane in the country between 1950-51 and 2001-02 While the area has increased at an average annual rate of 2.99 per cent (from 17.07 lakh ha in 1950-51 to 43.6 lakh ha in 2002-03) the production has witnessed much accelerated rate of 7.6% per annum growth during this period (from 570.51 lakh tonnes in 1950- 51 to 2816 lakh tonnes in 2002-03). Highest decennial growth rate of 38.2 per cent and 56.3 per cent in area and production respectively is witnessed during the decade of 1980-81 and 1990-91.
There are three main areas of sugar cane production in India: (a) Satluj-Ganga plain from Punjab to Bihar, (b) Black soil area from Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu, and (c) Coastal Andhra Pradesh and the Krishna valley.
Although the geographical conditions for the cultivation of sugarcane are more favourable in south India the most important sugar belt is confined to the northern Great Plains of the country. In the north India sugarcane replaced indigo as a cash crop. Here availability of fertile soil (lime
and potash rich loamy and clayey soil), pettiness of water resources and cheap irrigation, flat and level surface favouring agricultural operations and development of transport and communication system, abundant supply of cheap labour, lack of competition from other cash crops and development of new HYV have helped in the growth of sugarcane cultivation in this region. But long and hot summer season, winter frost (in Punjab and Haryana) and vagaries of monsoon and poor economic conditions of the farmers are some of the factors which adversely affect the cultivation.
In South India the favourable maritime climate free from the effects of summer look and winter frost, sufficient irrigation and new farming techniques have led to higher per hectare yield and better quality of the crop. But here the crop has to face stiff competition from other cash crops like cotton, groundnut etc.
The winter rainfall along Tamil Nadu coast is also not very beneficial for the crop. North India with 60 per cent of total area of sugarcane in the country contributes only 50 per cent of its production. On the contrary South India with only 40 per cent of the sugarcane area supplies 50 per cent of the total output of sugarcane in the country.
On state-level Uttar Pradesh occupies first place both in respect of area and production of sugarcane in the country followed by Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The share of other north Indian states like Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal is less than 10 per cent of the total output of the crop.
Uttar Pradesh alone accounts for 42.47 per cent of the total area and 41.31 per cent of the total production of sugarcane in the country. Sugarcane is cultivated throughout the state except some parts of the dry west, and south-west. The maxi mum concentration is found in the Upper Oanga-Yamuna Doab, Rohilkhand and the trans-Saryu plain which together account for 70% of the State's production. Amongst the 100 leading sugarcane producing districts of the country 33 belong to Uttar Pradesh. Here Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Saharanpur and Bijnor- the four leading producers of sugarcane in the country account for over 17 per cent of the country's (42% of Uttar Pradesh) production of sugarcane. Main producing districts of sugarcane in the state include Moradabad, Deoria, Kheri, Bulandshahr,
Ghaziabad (each more than 20 lakh tonnes), Azamgarh, Nainital, Bareilly, Sitapur. Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur, Aligarh, Faizabad, Ballia, Jaunpur and Varanasi etc. There has been appreciable increase in the area (1.4 per cent per annum) productivity (1.49% per annum) and production (3.50% per annum) of sugarcane in the state between 1972-73 and 2002-03 (area from 13.08 to 18.52 lakh ha. production 567.27 to 1 163.24 lakh tones and yield from 43369 to 62,810 kg/ha).
With only 13.74 per cent of the total area Maharashtra contributes 13.15 per cent of the total production of sugarcane in the country due to comparatively higher per hectare yield. The crop has registered an average annual increase of 11.56 per cent in its area (from 1.46 lakh ha. in 1972-73 to 5.18 lakh ha in 1994-95), 12.34 per cent in output (from 119.18 lakh tones in 1972-73 to 442.60 lakh tones in 1994-95) and 0.22 per cent in its productivity (from 81628 kg/ha in 1972-73 to 85527 kg/ha in 1994-95). But year 1997-98 has registered some decline is area, productivity and production of the crop. Here sugarcane is mainly grown on black soil under irrigation. Main producers are Ahmednagar, Kolhapur, Sangli, Pune, Solapur, and Nasik, Dhule, Satara, Aurangabad and Usmanabad districts which together contribute over 90 per cent of the state's production of sugarcane.
Tamil Nadu records the highest yield of sugarcane (107 tones/ha) in the country. That is why with only 6.5 per cent of the total area it provides 10.75 per cent of the total production of sugarcane in the country.
There has been 2.8 times increase in area and 3.65 times increase in the production of sugarcane in the state between 1972- 73 and 1997-98. About 84 percent of the production comes from the five districts of Coimbatore, North and South Arcot, Salem and Tiruchchirappalli (each contributing more than 10 tones). Other important producer's area Madurai, Thanjavur, Dharmapuri and Ramnathapuram districts.
Karnataka is the third important producer of sugarcane (area 8.83 % and production 11.53%) in the country. Its yield is second highest after Tamil Nadu. The crop has recorded 198 percent increase in area (1.04 lakh ha to 3.10 lakh ha) and 235 per cent in production (from 84.58 lakh tones to 283.33 lakh tonnes) between 1972-73 and 1997-98.
Amongst the 100 leading districts of the country in sugarcane production 11 belong to Karnataka. Of these Belgaum, Mandya, Bellary, Raichur and Mysore together contribute about 61 % of the state's production. The area enjoys irrigation facilities from Krishnarajasagar and Tungabhadra projects.
Andhra Pradesh accounts for 5.37 per cent of the total area and 5.46 per cent of the total production of sugarcane in the country. Yields are comparatively high (65.75 tones/ha), there has been an annual increase of 2.36 percent in area and 1.97 per cent in the output of sugarcane between 1972-73 and 1997-98. Most of the production comes from the Godavari-Krishna delta and the coastal plains comprising the districts of East and West Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Nizamabad, Krishna and Chittoor.
Gujarat provides 4.65 per cent of the total area and 5.00 per cent of total production of sugarcane in the country. Here the crop occupies south-eastern parts of the state including the districts of Surat, Valsad, Junagarh, Rajkot.Bhavnagarand Jamnagar. The state has witnessed phenomenal rise in the area (annual rate 13.3%), output (22.3%) and productivity (annual rate 2.09%) of sugarcane between 1972- 73 and 1997-98.
The sugar producing area of Haryana lies along the borders of Uttar Pradesh. The state accounts for 4.13 per cent of the total area and 2.84 per cent of total production of sugarcane in India. Here Anibala, Karnal, Jind, Sonepat, Rohtak, Gurgaon, Kurukshetra and Hissar districts are the major producers. Despite marginal increase in the area of sugarcane between 1972-73 and 1997-98 (at an annual rate of 0.18%) the production has marked rising trend (annual rate being 1.03%) due to high productivity (annual rate of increase being 0.82%).
Bihar contributes 4.3 per cent of the total area and 1.63 percent of the total production of sugarcane in the country. Here sugarcane growing area is confined to the north-eastern part of the state adjacent to the Tarai belt of Uttar Pradesh. East and West Champaran, Siwan, Gopalganj and Muzaffarpurdis- tricts supply about 60 per cent of the state's output of the crop. The area of the crop has shown decline although the production has marked marginal increase (6.01%) during recent years (1972-73 to 1997-98).
Punjab provides about 3.5 per cent of the country's sugarcane area and 3.3 per cent of its production. The sugarcane growing tract extends from north-west to south-east along the borders of Himachal Pradesh. About 63 per cent of the state's production comes from Jalandhar, Gurdaspur, Rupnagar, Sangrur and Patiala districts. Other important producers include Ludhiana, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur and Ferozepur districts. The crop has witnessed 22.85% growth in its area although the production has shown 51.45% increase between 1972-73 and 1997-98.
Minor producers of sugarcane include West Bengal (Nadia. Murshidabad, Barddhaman, Birbhum, Hugli and Malda districts), Madhya Pradesh- Chhattisgarh (Raipur, Bilaspur, Gwalior, Betul, Ratlam, Morena, Ujjain, Shivpuri and Indore districts), Rajasthan (Ganganagar, Bundi, Kota, Udaipur, Chittaurgarh, Bharatpurand Bhil wara districts), Orissa (Koraput. Cuttack, Puri, Ganjam and Sambalpur districts), and Assam (Sibsagar, Nowgong, Cachar, Karbi-Anglong and Dibrugarh districts) states.
There is practically no inter-state trade of sugarcane. Most of the sugarcane produced is consumed locally in gur making, khancisari or sent to nearby mill for the manufacture of crystal sugar. In 1994-95 out of the total production of sugarcane 147.6 million tons (54.42%) was utilised for sugar production, 32.2 million tonnes (11.87%) for seed and chewing and 91.4 million tons (33.71%) for gur and khandsari industries. In normal years India exports a portion of its sugar production to Sri
Lanka, U.A.R., Somalia, U.K. and the U.S.A. During 2002-03 India exported Rs. 1,814 crore worth of sugar and molasses to various countries.
With increasing population the demand for sugar is bound to increase. Hence effective steps have to be taken to increase sugarcane production by introducing more HYV of the crop. The Sugarcane Research Centre under Central Sugarcane Committee is busy in developing new HYV seeds to increase the production of sugarcane. Similarly the Indian Institute of Sugar Technology at Kanpur provides training facilities in respect of sugarcane cultivation and sugar industry.