Uttar Pradesh will commence production of ethanol directly from sugarcane from the next cane crushing season commencing from October. Ethanol used for blending with petrol will be produced at the public sector undertaking Pipraich sugar mill at Gorakhpur and Balrampur sugar mill.
The UP government had decided in October last year to produce ethanol directly from sugarcane and a pilot project was started at the Pipraich sugar mill.
UP is the top producer of the ethanol in India and more use of the commodity for blending with petrol will help the industry to earn more revenue and clear the payment of the farmers. There are 53 distilleries producing ethanol and annual installed capacity is 158.44 crore litre.
In the financial year 2016-17, UP produced 42.70 crore litres of ethanol which increased to 99.31 crore litre in 2020-21. UP has 72 distilleries which include 25 standalone and 47 attached with the sugar mills.
Sugar Industry Minister Suresh Rana said in a press conference on Monday that the hike in state advisory price of sugarcane for the next crushing season 2021-22 would fetch an additional over Rs 4,000 crore to the farmers. He said the sugar mills had cleared 100 per cent payment of the 2019-20 and over 85 per cent of the last season (2020-21) had been cleared by the industry. He said against the demand of Rs 33,014 crore, the sugar mills had so far paid Rs 28,015 crore to the farmers for the 2020-21 season.
He said during the 10-year rule of the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party from 2007 to 2017, sugar mills made total payment of Rs 1,47 lakh crore to the farmers while the during the four years of Yogi Adityanath government, the payment made from 2017 to 2021 was Rs 1,44 lakh crore till September 21 this year.
“The focus of the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the last four years was on ensuring payment to the farmers, reviving the closed sugar mills and introducing the latest technology in the industry,” the minister said.
“During the BSP regime, 21 sugar mills were sold at throwaway prices and 19 mills were closed and 11 mills were closed during the SP government and clearing the payment of the farmers was never on the agenda of both the parties,” he said.
The minister said till 2016 -17, three varieties of sugarcane were cultivated where the share of the high yielding early variety was only 52 per cent which had now increased to 98 per cent. He said UP was also leading the country in sugarcane productivity as productivity of 66 MT per hectare in 2016-17 and went up to 81.05 MT per hectare in 2020-21.
The minister said with the increase in sugarcane productivity, the acreage under the crop had also increased by eight lakh hectares in the last four years. He said in the five years of the Samajwadi Party government the total cane crushed by the sugar mills was 2,918 lakh MT while during the four years of BJP government the crushing increased to 4,289 lakh MT.
He said the Yogi Adityanath government, to provide an alternative market to sugarcane farmers, amended the khandsari policy, allowing new units within 7.5 km radius of sugar mills from the earlier 15 KM.
“The new policy led to the setting up of 270 new khandsari units, thus providing jobs and ensuring the crushing of sugarcane equivalent to the cane crushed by 14sugar mills,” the minister said.
Rana said during the pandemic, operations of sugar mills were not disrupted and UP remained on top in the area under sugarcane, sugar production and production of ethanol.