Area under sugarcane cultivation increases

MAYILADUTHURAI There are indications that the area under sugarcane cultivation will go up in the district.

According to officials, about 360 hectares of additional area will come under sugarcane cultivation during this season.

The hope of the farmers for revival of the functioning of NPKRR Cooperative Sugar Mill in the district is stated to be one of the reasons.

Last month, the Assembly Committee on Estimate inspected the mill and a committee formed by the State government for reviving the mill is also currently carrying out its task.

According to farmers, sugarcane is being cultivated in 10,000 acres in the district and surroundings. About 2,800 cane growers in Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam and Thanjavur districts are registered with the mill.

Farmer organisations across the State have been urging the State government to tap the benefits accruing from the Central Governemnt’s Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme.

The Central Government had notified the National Policy on Biofuels – 2018 which laid out indicative target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030 in the country. Based on the encouraging initiatives on supply side of ethanol, Government has advanced the target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol from 2030 to 2025-26.

The measures taken by the Central Government for the benefit of ethanol manufacturers include permitting multiple sugarcane and grain based feedstock for ethanol production, fixing feedstock wise remunerative ethanol procurement prices, introducing amended Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 for uninterrupted production, storage and movement of ethanol across the country, bringing ethanol meant for EBP Programme under lowest GST slab rate of 5% to increase production of ethanol and promote EBP Programme and introducing interest subvention schemes during 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 for augmentation and enhancement of ethanol production capacity in the country.

Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have also signed long term ethanol off-take agreements with prospective project proponents to set up dedicated ethanol plants in deficit States.

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