Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday urged the state’ sugar industry to adopt a Brazil-like model that will allow mills to toggle between production of sweetener and ethanol. Thackeray, who was speaking at the 44th annual general body meeting of the Vasantdada Sugar Institute, also called for stability in agricultural reforms to make farming sustainable.
Refereeing to his recent visit to the ongoing Gosi Khurd project in Bhandara district, the chief minister said farmers there have asked for quick completion of the project. “They told me once the project is completed and irrigation potential of the area is realised, the area will become as prosperous as Punjab. But the thought that came to my mind was that now Punjab is out on streets,” he said, refereeing to the ongoing protests mainly led by farmers from Punjab and Haryana against the three new farm laws.
Thackeray went on to say that reforms in agriculture could become useless if all of a sudden a central law in brought to disrupt the same.
Addressing the meeting online, the chief minister urged the sugar industry to adopt a hybrid model that will allow sugar mills to shift between production of sugar and ethanol. “Excess sugar production can derail the economics of the industry and thus what we need is a Brazil-like model, which will keep the sugar rates steady,” he said. Sugar mills in Brazil have the technology to decide on production of sugar or ethanol and the call is taken at the start of the season, keeping in view the supply-demand scenario.
During the last year’s annual general meeting, the institute had requested the chief minister to allocate land in Jalna district for the development of a cane research centre for Marathwada. This was granted by the government. Thackeray said that he wanted VSI to establish centres across the state.
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