Surat, Mar 29 (ANI): Mill owners in Gujarat have anticipated a bumper sugercane production as compared to previous year.
"This year there has been an increase in the sugarcane production. The production in the country will reach 260 lakh (26 million) tonnes. Compared to last year, this year's production will increase by 30 lakh tonnes to 40 lakh tonnes after meeting all the requirements," said Kanesh D Patel, a sugarcane trader.
Despite the rise in production, concern remains over a shortage of labour as farmers have steadily shifted to more lucrative sources of employment over the last few years.
"It has become very difficult to find skilled sugarcane labourers. The labourers are attracted towards other sources of employment. There will be continuation of the labour crisis for sugarcane harvesting in future," added Patel.
In a bid to curb the employment shortage, sugar mill owners are encouraging farmers to grow more sugarcane on the back of this year's profitable season.
India's annual sugar production for 2012 has been estimated at 18.5 million tonnes as compared to 13.5 million tonnes in 2011.
India's sugarcane industry forms a vital portion its agricultural output and significantly contributes to the country's gross domestic product. India is also the world's second biggest sugar exporter.
In addition, Gujarat's sugar mills provide employment to nearly half a million farmers and factory labourers.
India's 1.2 billion strong population consumes 19 million tonnes of sugar annually, said to be the highest in the world. (ANI)
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