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(see also previous page)
Sugar is used not only for sweetening food and drink but also in the preparation of jams, canned fruits and confectionery. Sugar comes from the juices of many plants but three sources are particularly notable:
(a) Trees such as the sugar palm, the date palm and several other palms but these constitute the least important sources.
(b) Sugarcane a tall tropical thick-stemmed perennial grass cultivated mainly on plantation by monocultural methods.
(c) Sugar beet, a root plant, belonging to the beet family grown in cool temperate lands.
Cane sugar represents about 60% of the world's output of sugar while beet sugar accounts for nearly 40%. Cane provides some 80% of the total exportable surplus. Cane and beet differ widely in their requirements of physical.
These differences in physical conditions reflect on the distribution of the sugar producing regions. The principle cane producing regions are the Brazil, West Indies, especially Cuba, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Formosa and southern China. Other notable areas include the tropical coastlands of Queensland, Mauritius, Hawaii, Natal, the Gulf Coast of the United States.
Nearly, all the world's supply of beet comes from either the large sugar consuming countries which share the more fertile soils of Russia, France, West Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia, or from the United States, particularly California, Colorado and Utah.
Next: Sugarcane in India