India, the second largest producer of sugar in the world, has more than 40 million cultivators of sugar. A huge segment of the rural labourers depends upon this industry for their livelihood. Many states in India contribute to this industry, with Haryana making a substantial contribution to the production of sugar in the country. The government of India is responsible for the concerns of the sugarcane farmers of the states. It also allocates the areas of procurement of sugarcane and decides about the pricing of sugar.
There are major cooperative sugar industries in Haryana and also some private industries. Sugar industries are located in several parts of Haryana, with most being situated in Naraingarh, Gohana, Kamada and Kot. The sugar mills in Haryana make use of the recent technology and machinery and equipments through which they manufacture the excellent quality of sugar. The farmers work in extreme conditions to grow sugarcane. They work under the agro-climatic or extreme weather conditions, even in drought and flood prone regions, to produce and grow sugar.
The production of sugar has seen changes in its growth rate in the past few years. According to the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) of Haryana, in the year 2008-09, there has been a decline in IIP of sugar of 60.8%. In 2009-2010, it improved with a growth of 34.4% but the average growth rate declined again with 5.9% in the year 2011-2012. With extreme weather conditions and deficient monsoon, the production of sugar has been affected in the state. The cultivation of sugarcane has become challenging as higher remunerations are paid to the labourers and farmers in paddy and wheat production.
The government's measures to control and revise the price of sugarcane in past few years has not really paid off. For example, the prices were slashed to Rs. 220 per quintal for early varieties, for mid varieties it was changed to Rs. 215 and for maturing varieties, to Rs. 210 per quintal in the year 2009-2010. But, is this enough to put a control and prevent the sugarcane industry from declining in Haryana?
In Haryana, there is a need to enhance the sugar industry. Even though, there are ample production opportunities of sugar in the state, they do not yield positive output. First and foremost, it is required that several measures should be taken to attract and motivate more and more farmers towards the cultivation of sugarcane. If the farmers are paid equal or more in comparison to the farmers involved in paddy and wheat cultivation, they will be more inclined towards sugarcane cultivation and its industry.
The government is also required to offer more subsidy to the farmers, so that they can opt for sugarcane cultivation. The quality of seeds, and regular and quality supply of insecticides can also help the farmers to save and get attracted towards the sugarcane production. The farmers should also be aware of the new technologies and machines which help in increasing sugar production. More warehouses are required to be set up near the farming and production area, so as to store quintals of sugar and protect them from getting destroyed by rain, insects or any other harmful objects. The sugar industry in Haryana is not getting its due, and it is necessary that it should be made worthy and preserved in Naya Haryana.