The sugar industry is the second-largest organized industry next to the cotton textile industry. Sugarcane is a cash crop. Products of sugarcane industries are sugar, gur, and khandsari.
By-products of Sugarcane Industries
- Molasses: It is obtained during the process of manufacturing sugar. It is used in the alcohol industry for the distillation of liquor and for producing certain chemicals and synthetic rubber.
- Bagasse: It is the leftover cane. It is used for producing steam which is a source of power for the sugarcane industry and is used for making wax, carbon paper, and shoe polish.
- Press mud: is used for making wax, carbon paper, and shoe polish.
Distribution of Sugar Industries
- As Maharashtra is the leading producer of sugar in India, the state has 119 sugar mills. Most of the mills are large.
- Uttar Pradesh is the second-largest producer of sugarcane in India. Sugarcane factories are located in two belts—the Ganga Yamuna Doab (Saharanpur, Meerut, Bualndshahar, and Ghaziabad) and the Terai belt (Basti, Gonda, Gorakhpur, etc).
- Other northern Indian states where sugar mills are located are Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.
- Peninsular India has emerged as a leading producer of sugar in India. Tamil Nadu has become the leading producer of sugar in the region because of its higher per hectare yield of sugarcane, higher sucrose content, and long crushing season.
- Sugar factories are also located in Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Chittoor, etc.) and Karnataka (Belgaum, Bellary, Bijapur, etc.).
Sugar Industries have Shifted to the South because
- The climate of South India is free from the effects of summer loo and winter frost which are suitable for growing superior varieties of sugarcane. The production period is also long.
- Black soil is more fertile than the alluvial soil of north India. The sugarcane here is of superior quality with a higher yield.
- The excellent transport facilities in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have resulted in an increased number of sugarcane mills in these regions.
- The sugarcane farmers in South India have bigger areas and are managed by cooperative societies.
Problems Faced by Sugarcane Industries
- Growth of poor quality of sugarcane with low sucrose content.
- High cost of production because of low yield and short crushing season.
- As maximum sugarcane is harvested at the same time, there is pressure on industries during the harvest time.
- The supply of raw materials to sugar industries is irregular as no plantation industry exists around the factories.
- Old and obsolete machinery is used in the sugar industry which has not been replaced by new machinery and modern technology.