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.