Private sugar mills hit the sweet spot in Maharashtra

The place occupied by personal players in Maharashtra’s sugar industry has grown significantly in the

The place occupied by personal players in Maharashtra’s sugar industry has grown significantly in the last 10 a long time. Of the 164 mills that crushed sugarcane in 2010-eleven, the variety of personal mills was 41, or 25 for each cent. This calendar year (2019-twenty), 147 mills have commenced crushing, of which 68 mills (46 for each cent) were being privately owned.

On the other hand, this is not a sudden transformation. Given that 2008-09, the variety of personal players has increased in a sustained fashion and industry players predict that personal mills may get over cooperative sugar mills in the up coming couple of seasons.

Apparently, in accordance to information revealed by the Maharashtra Sugar Commissioner place of work, much more personal mills crushed sugarcane than cooperative mills in the drought-prone zones of Aurangabad, Nanded, Amravati, and Nagpur. In fact, in the Amravati and Nagpur zones, only personal mills crushed cane this time. These zones have historically recorded the maximum variety of farmer suicides.

Significant draw

Agriculture professional and activist Sampatrao Pawar stated quite a few of the politicians who took interest in cooperative sugar mills later realised that they could churn much more revenue in personal ventures. Not astonishingly, the cooperative mills that were being managing into losses grew to become successful when taken over by personal companies.

Substantial subsidies, large returns and assistance from money establishments and the Point out captivated regional satraps towards sugar mills. Over the earlier couple of a long time, the Maharashtra Point out Cooperative Financial institution (MSCB) has started out attaching the property of defaulting sugar mills by auctioning them to personal players. Individuals who bid were being possibly politicos or individuals getting political connections, alleged Pawar. The MSCB is dominated by sugar baron-politicians, across celebration traces.

“The sugar economic climate performs a significant job in the State’s politics. Sugar mills are the lifeline of quite a few politicians,” stated agriculture professional Nishikant Bhalerao. He included that personal players participating in a distinguished job in the sugar industry will sooner or later guide to the end of cooperative sugar mills.

Humble beginnings

Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil is credited with starting up the very first cooperative sugar mill in Asia. He organised farmers in the Pravanagar location in Ahmednagar district way back in 1948 and set up a co-operative sugar factory, which was commissioned in 1950. Seventy a long time soon after the very first cooperative sugar mill came up in Maharashtra, personal mills have started out dominating the scene.

“It signifies that farmers who were being co-owners in the kind of shareholders in the cooperative sugar mills will have to count on the whims and fancies of personal players,” stated Baba Sawant, a farmer in Sangli. On the other hand, farmers like Sanjay Chavan think that in distinction to the corruption stages in quite a few cooperative sugar mills, personal players do the job much more competently.

In the meantime, this time, 147 mills in Maharashtra, like cooperative and personal, crushed 545 tonnes of sugarcane to create 616.12 lakh quintals of sugar.

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