Unlike the previous season, when around 54 per cent of the available cane came from ratoon — crop grown from the stubble of the previously harvested cane — this year, the portion of the ratoon crop is expected to be around 40 per cent.
In Maharashtra, offices of around 10 sugar mills were burnt by angry farmers. As farmers count mounting dues, mills point to pending stocks and falling prices. With elections near, The Sunday Express goes to farmers and mills to find out what ails India's sugar heartland.
The 2016-17 season was unique as paucity of cane had set off a price war among millers to attract cane. Also, last year was the first time when Maharashtra implemented the revenue sharing formula as per the recommendations of the C Rangarajan committee.
Several tehsils in Pune,including Indapur,Daund,Baramati and parts of Haveli have started feeling the heat of the drought,with drinking water getting scarcer and groundwater levels continuing to plunge.