Salinity threatens to denude sugar belt


Sugar trade looks to the home market



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLIPPINGS

Salinity threatens to denude sugar belt
State legislators to discuss de-control of sugar industry
Harvesting fruits of technology
Sugar trade looks to the home market


Salinity threatens to denude sugar belt

Increasing levels of salinity in agricultural land in the vicinity of Krishna and warn rivers threatens to turn the fields infertile irrigation expert Mr. C B Lokwani has warned.
Formerly an additional engineer with the Rajasthan state irrigation department Mr. Lokwani was addressing a seminar titled, The problem of saline land and its remedies organised by the Sangli District Co-operative Board at Dundhgaon on Tuesday. If the problem is ignored it has the potential to turn the fertile plains into a desert, Mr. Lowani said.
Among others who spoke on the occasion were Mr. Dinkar Patil, MLA, Mr. Pratik Patil, chairman, Vasantdada Farmers Cooperative Sugar Factory, and Mr. Sandeep Gole, a Pune- based subject expert. Analysing the reasons for the alarming land salinity, Mr. Lokwani cited the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and water , which in turn is a result of relentless sugar cultivation in the region.
Analyzing the phenomenon, Mr. Lokwani said that over the years sugar factories in the region have encouraged local farmers to concrete on cultivating sugarcane. Consequently, due to the nature of the crop, farmers started using more water-logging, long-term salinity and damage to the soil quality in parts of Sangali, Satara and Ahmednager districts.
Initially, the problem was identified in Western Miraj, Shirol and Walwa talukas. Today, Saline land has become a major problem for farmers in 28 villages in Sangali district and some village of Shirol taluka in Kolhapur district

(The Times of India July 21,2000)

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State legislators to discuss de-control of sugar industry

Chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has convened a meeting of legislators to delibrate on the state government's policy on sugar co-operative in view of the Center's announcement to de-control sugar from October.
The meeting, scheduled to be held next week, will seek to protect the interests of co-operative sugar factories in the state, Mr. Deshmukh said. He was responding to a calling- attention motion moved by Mr. Hasan Musharif of the Nation alist Congress Party.
Earlier, minister of state for cooperatives, Mr. Babasaheb Kupekar, informed the house that around 36 lacs. metric tones of sugar will remain unutilised this year, following the production of 65 lac. metric tones.
It may be recalled that the Mahajan committee had recommended the phased decontrol of the industry two years ago. However, since then, the Union government has acted only on a few recommendation of the committee , which include the reduction of levy obligation of factories from 40 per cent of the total produce to 30 per cent. The committee had recommended a 20 percent levy in one year and complete decontrol in the second year.
Industry representatives too have been calling for complete decontrol with an eye on futures trading . The committee recommendation have been accepted by both private and co-operative-sectors.
The Mahajan Committee argued that the present system of partial control led to higher market prices of free-sale sugar, because the mills sought to compensate losses incurred in supplying leavy sugar at low costs.
The dual pricing system, says the committee, encourages setting up of mills in high cost areas there by building up a high cost sugar industry. If is the main reason for the for financial health of the industry. It is the main reason for the poor financial health of the industry and for investment not forthcoming without special incentives. It also leads to widespread resentment among cane growers as they feel they have to bear the burden of subsidy for sugar in public distributions system, unlike other comedies.

(The Times of India 25 July, 2000 )

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Harvesting fruits of technology

DESPITE enterprise resource planning (ERP) software becoming persuasive, its implementation in the agriculture sector is not common. Only a few forward looking companies in this sector have gone in for an ERP solution to synchronise their functions. Chamundeshwari Sugars is one of them.
This 25-year-old sugar processing firm, a part of the Rs 2000 crore Shakti Group, located 100 km from Bangalore, has implemented an ERP solution developed by the Bangalore based Evolus (India). M Srinivaasan, managing director of Chamundeshwari Sugars, says the decision to implement an ERP solution was to get accurate data, and build a database to help run a tight ship.
The success of a sugar making unit to a large extent depends on how well its backend operations are managed, says Srinivasan.
Around 12-15,000 sugarcane farmers supply nearly eight to nine lakh tonnes of sugarcane which is then crushed to produce eight to nine lakh quintals of sugar. What is essential, says Srinivaasan, is to ensure that these sugar farmers have the right kind of data available with them so they can get more yield acreage.
"It is vital for us to monitor the rainfall and understand how each variety of sugarcane performs in areas where it is grown. We also need to build up a database on how the crop reacts to the different kind of fertilisers used. Having an ERP will help us get a condensed view and have data on the fly," he says.
Apart from helping build up and monitor data from the field, the ERP software will also help Chamundeshwari Sugars to effectivley manage its stores and spares operations, finance, human resources and sales functions, he says.
Cane brought in by the farmers is weighed before and after being unloaded. Based on the weight, the farmer's account is credited, after deducting the instalment of loan they have availed from banks. The amount of cane crushed per hour is monitored. All these data are fed into the computer on a real time basis.
Srinivaasan says that he did consider going in for a custom made ERP solution, but decided against it as it would not have been feature rich and cost effective. "We wanted a highly integrated package which would lend itself to a network scenario which is why we chose Evolus," he says.
The human resources and accounts functions of Chamundeshwari Sugars are handled at its factory and head office in Bangalore. Currently data generated at the factory is transferred on a tape drive and integrated with the data produced in the head office.
"As the department of telecom does not give leased line connection to rural areas, we could not link our factory with the head office. We did think of VSAT connectivity, but found it expensive. We are considering implementing a virtual private network," says Srinivaasan.
As of now few modules of Evolus have been implemented. Srinivaasan expects all modules to go live in a month or so. When this happens he expects it to bring several benefits to Chamundeshwari Sugars.
Besides reducing paper work at multiple levels, the quantum of internal memos will reduce. They will allocate more staff for productive functions and the overall efficiency of the company will go up, he says.
As of now the wealth of database that has been created, has made the field management more easy and effective, he adds.
Chamundeshwari Sugars which is listed in Chennai and Bangalore stock exchanges, made a turnover of Rs 80 crore last fiscal. Srinivaasan does not expect revenues to leapfrog due to the ERP solution. "But it will definitely pay in the long run," he says. R Subramanyam

(The Economic Times August 3, 2000)

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Sugar trade looks to the home market

CALCUTTA : THE sugar industry is keeping its fingers crossed. Faced with the problem of plenty worsened by huge imports during the past one year, the industry mandarins are hoping for a growth in internal consumption to sustain demand and sales at least at current levels.
Fortunately, for the sugar industry, the domestic consumers have not disappointed them. Much to their delight, home consumption of the commodity has so far shown a growth of three per cent.
According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) and the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) , the domestic consumption of sugar during October-June in the current sugar season increased by 3.2 per cent to 115.8 lakh tonne as against 112.2 lakh tonnes in the same period during the previous year.
The three per cent growth may be welcome, but it is still too little to inspire a sense of confidence among the millowners. The immediate cause for concern is a closing stock of 136.1 lakh tonne of sugar as on June 30 '00, which is 35 lakh tonne higher than the stock levels on the corresponding date of the previous year. The rise in stock levels despite lower imports during the same period is disconcerting though.

(The Economic Times August 3, 2000)

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