Leading the world in the sugar industry is a tremendous accomplishment for the nation and a sign of its rising prominence in this field.

In its 63rd council meeting, International Sugar Organisation (ISO), headquartered in London, announced that India will be the chair of the organisation for 2024. Leading the world in the sugar industry is a tremendous accomplishment for the nation and a sign of its rising prominence in this field.

Sanjeev Chopra, Secretary (Food), Government of India, stated at the ISO Council Meeting that India would like to concentrate on uniting all member nations to adopt more sustainable practices in sugarcane cultivation, sugar and ethanol production, and better utilization of by-products during its period of chairmanship of ISO in 2024.

India ranks second globally in terms of production and consumption of sugar. With 15% of the world’s sugar consumed and 20% produced globally, Indian sugar patterns significantly impact international markets. India is most suited to lead the International Sugar Organization (ISO), the premier international organization for sugar and related goods with roughly 90 member countries, because of its dominant position.

With Brazil in the Western Hemisphere, India is the market leader in the Eastern Hemisphere for the sugar market. Now, being the 3rd largest country in the world in ethanol production after the USA and Brazil, India has shown commitment towards green energy and its capability to twist the challenges of surplus sugar in the domestic market to the solution of fossil fuels imports and a tool to meet COP 26 targets for India.

Remarkably, the ethanol blending percentage in India has increased from 5% in 2019-20 to 12% in 2022-23, while the production has increased from 173 crore litres to more than 500 crore litres during the same period.

The Indian sugar industry has come a long way in modernisation and expansion as well as in diversification to exploit the potential of its by-products to generate additional revenue streams to make the whole business model both sustainable and profitable. It has proven its robustness during the Covid pandemic by operating its mills while the country was facing lockdown and rising to the occasion by producing hand sanitisers sufficient to meet the demand in the country.

India has a unique distinction of being the Payer of the Highest Cane Price to its farmers and still efficient enough to make profits and operate in a self-sufficient manner without any Government financial assistance. The synergy between the Government and the sugar industry has made it possible to rejuvenate the Indian sugar industry and transform it into a major player in green energy in the country.

On the technical side, the National Sugar Institute, Kanpur, has spread its wings and is collaborating with many countries, including Indonesia, Nigeria, Egypt, Fiji, etc., to share the latest technologies in the sector and best practices.

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