Improving Sugarcane Cultivation in India
The impact of climate change on rains, non-availability of ground water, and the cost of cultivation and non-availability of labour is forcing sugarcane farmers, who have been cultivating sugarcane for past 20 to 30 years, to either move out to other crops or sell their land.
The total land area under sugarcane cultivation in the state of Andhra Pradesh has come down from 2.5 lakh hectare to 1.5 lakh hectare. This is quite an alarming drop in the area of cultivation. Besides the productivity in the available land is either stagnant or low making it a completely non-profitable venture for a sugarcane farmer. This will impact the sugar industry. A recent FAO report predicts a sharp fall in
sugar production in India in the year 2009.
The situation in UP and other states is even more alarming. Tamil Nadu is the only state which is doing relatively little better in terms of productivity.
In respect to the above mention concerns, we would like to bring to your attention, the groundbreaking insight to sugarcane cultivation with farm-based approaches based on principles of ‘more with less’ in agriculture. Very similar to System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in rice, the concept is now being extended to sugarcane crops through Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI). This breakthrough method will bring sea change in the way sugarcane cultivation is done in India and the world over. It will increase the profitability of the farmers significantly while reducing the inputs – water, fertilizer, seed material – and improving the productivity of water, land and labour, and the sugarcane industry will benefit with huge profits in terms of good
sugarcane quality and recovery.
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have partnered together to explore options for ‘Improving the water productivity in agriculture’. The project is looking at farm-based approaches based on principles of ‘more with less’ in agriculture. The project is directly relevant to the broader goals of both the WWF and ICRISAT with respect to improving the lives and livelihoods of millions of farmers and reducing the ecological footprint on planet earth without compromising on the food security.
The World Bank in its recent report has predicted a major slump in sugarcane cultivation in India. In many countries sugarcane cultivation is being impacted by the climate change.
A training manual “Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI): Improving Sugarcane Cultivation in India” was released recently. Please click here for the training manual.
By : Manisha Agarwal