Sugarcane output is expected to be around 63.04 million tons in 2013-14, marginally lower than the 63.72 million tons in 2012-13, reflecting a decrease of one percent. According to an official document available withBusiness Recorder, the decline in sugarcane output is in spite of an increase in the countrywide area under sugarcane cultivation: 1,129,693 hectares in 2013-14 as compared to 1,128,095 hectares the previous year.
Punjab, which accounts for 62 percent of the country”s sugarcane production, may witness a decrease of 5 percent in sugarcane production in 2013-14 as compared to previous year. During 2013-14, sugarcane was cultivated in Punjab on an area of 724,000 hectares as compared to 767,670 hectares previous year – a decline of 5.7 percent. Sugarcane production in 2013-14 is estimated at 40.85 million tons as compared to 42.982 million tons the previous year, showing a decrease of 5 percent over previous year, attributed mainly to a decrease in area under cultivation.
According to the document, the main reason for decrease in area under cultivation of sugarcane is higher acreage under cultivation of maize and rice crops with better economic returns. In Sindh, sugarcane was cultivated on an area of 298,000 hectares during 2013-14 as compared to 253,694 hectares the previous year. Sugarcane production in Sindh is estimated at 17.4 million tons for 2013-14 as compared to 15.97 million tons the previous year, showing an increase of 8 percent over previous year. This has been attributed mainly to floods and heavy monsoon rains during last few years damaging the Kharif crops; but sugarcane crop survived, so growers prefer to bring more area under the sugarcane crop.
During 2013-14, sugarcane was cultivated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on an area of 107,693 hectares as compared to 106,734 hectares previous year. Sugarcane production for 2013-14 has been estimated at 4.82 million tons as compared to 4.8 million tons previous year. An official of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research said provincial governments set procurement price of sugarcane in consultation with representatives of sugar industry and farmers” organisations, based on the recommendations of Agricultural Policy Institute (API) and their departments of agriculture, food, and industry. They fix procurement price of sugarcane on the basis of sugar recovery of sugarcane and in Sindh sugar recovery is more than in Punjab. The official said provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have announced procurement price of sugarcane of Rs 170 per 40-kg, whereas Sindh announced a price of Rs 172 per 40-kg for 2013-14 sugarcane crops.