Sugarcane in Pakistan

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nasirhussain
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Sugarcane in Pakistan

Post by nasirhussain » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:19 pm

Sugar cane is a tall perennial plant. It is native to warm temperate to tropical regions of Asia. They have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six meters tall. 70% of the world’s supply of sugar comes from sugar cane, and 30% from sugar beet.So sugarcane is the most important source of world sugar. Today, sugarcane is grown in over 110 countries. In 2009, an estimated 1,683 million ms were produced worldwide which amounts to 22.4% of the total world agricultural production by weight. About 50% of production occurs in Brazil and India. Cuba and India together produce a large percentage of the world’s tropical sugar, cane sugar. Sugarcane is indigenous to tropical South Asia and Southeast Asia. Different species likely originated in different locations, with S. barberi originating in India and S. edule and S. officinarum coming from New Guinea.ImportanceAt the beginning of this century world sugar production, from all different sources, amounted to 12 million tonnes and per capita consumption was 8 kg. Production will have grown tenfold and per capita consumption by three times, by the end of this century. Even with the appearance of new sweeteners on the market, sugar is still the most widely used caloric food in all countries, especially among those of lower income. Its outstanding value for health improvement becomes more evident everyday, mainly when it is used in the less refined form.Sugar cane productsThe main products of sugar cane include Sugar, Bagasse and Molasses. Almost pure sucrose, it is the main commercial product. Byproducts obtained from sugarcane include molasses, rum, alcohol, fuel, livestock feed, and from the stalk residue, paper and wallboard. The various sugar producing countries currently produce more than fifty commercial products.Sugar cane juice is the national drink of Pakistan, where it is called Roh. It is sold fresh by roadside vendors only, as the juice begins turning black very quickly due to oxidation. It is sold in glasses with or without ice.Suitable EnvironmentIt requires a temperature regime of 30 to 35 degree centigrade. It requires humidity of 70% for more vegetative growth. Sugar conversion is more at lower temperature. Its need a period of cool weather or period of water stress for sucrose accumulation in the stem.Crop stands in the field from 12 to 18 months. Sugarcane roots extend to 90 cm depth. Sugarcane grows extremely well in medium to heavy, well drained soils of pH 7.5 to 8.5 and high organic matter content. Water logged soils and soils of poor drainage are not suitable. Growth of Sugarcane will be poor in light sandy soils. Gypsum or sulphur can be used for soil reclamation of saline and or alkaline soils.Sugar cane states in PakistanSugar cane crop is an important cash crop of Pakistan and is grown on area of more than on million hectares. It provides raw material to 77 sugar factories besides indigenous “brown Sugar” cottage industry. The sugarcane crop is beset with many problems: one abysmally low yield leading to yearly fluctuation in production, and secondly monopolistic exploitation of sugar cane growers by the powerful sugar syndicate. The sugar cane highly water consumptive crop, thus losing comparative advantage id water scarce scenario. Therefore, it is important to look at the economics of sugar cane production in the WTO regimes. The DRC (at import parity prices) was 0.59, 0.52 and 0.57 for Punjab, Sindh and Pakistan respectively and remained almost same up to fifth year. Thus, Pakistan will have comparative advantage in sugar cane production as an import substitution crop (import parity prices) in the future. The DRC (at export parity prices was 1.51, 1.10 and 1.19 for Punjab, Sindh and Pakistan respectively. This showed that in the future, Punjab would have no comparative advantage in sugar cane production at export parity prices. In conclusion, Pakistan sholud grow sugarcane only to maintain self sufficiency level as it will be cheaper in domestic market than to invest on import of sugar cane. It will not be feasible for country to grow for export purposes. On the other hand, the country should increase sugar cane productivity per unit of resource use especially scarce irrigation water.Possible uses of sugar canePractically all products and by-products obtained from sugar cane may become substrates for liquid or solid-state fermentation processes; using available second and third generation biotechnology a significant number of production processes could be developed. The agro industrial character of sugar cane processing allows for an industrial development in which all available wastes and resources could be managed profitably while avoiding pollution of the environment. Sugar cane producing countries, have a significant advantage in possessing a renewable raw material, which can be used in human and animal feeding, and in the production of basic chemicals, with a yield not equalled by any other plant. Furthermore, sugar cane has energy delivering capacity equivalent to five times that used by the crop. All these factors taken together and the possibilities offered by further genetic improvement, turns sugar cane into the ideal crop for the next century.One hectare of sugar cane can produce, annually, about about five tonnes of fibre for pulp and paper production, twice as much as that produced by one hectare of wood with the same management. The renewal period is fifteen times shorter for sugar cane.Recommendations for sugar cane marketThe sugar industry must spearhead the research and development efforts so as to meet its raw material requirements. The specific recommendations are:•The marketing of the produce, raw material as well as end product, has emerged a key issue requiring serious attention of the government. The market imperfections must be removed through marketing efficiency and institutionalization of market intelligence.•The recurring water shortage is posing a serious challenge to the large scale cultivation of Sugarcane being highly water consumptive crop. It is in the interest of industry and farmers to curtail its area but promote the cultivation of improved varieties with rational use of Inputs and improved crop management. The sugarcane is highly water consumptive crop.•The present flat rate system is allocatively neutral leading to misallocation of this scarce resource. Therefore, the water pricing of is imperative for its rational use.•The vertical integration rather than horizontal expansion of the sugar industry is the need of the hour. The value added products e.g. spirits, yeast, acetic acid, citric acid, glucose etc., must be produced .The development of these products would help reduce the cost of sugar which remains the principal produce.
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