threatens to denude sugar belt
State legislators to discuss de-control of sugar
Harvesting fruits of technology
Sugar trade looks to the home market
Salinity threatens to denude sugar belt
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
Times of India July 21,2000)
legislators to discuss de-control of sugar industry
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
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
Times of India 25 July, 2000 )
fruits of technology
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
"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
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
"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
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
Economic Times August 3, 2000)
trade looks to the home market
: 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.
Economic Times August 3, 2000)