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Sugarcane in India
(see also previous page)
Sugarcane and Sugar in India. With the largest sugarcane acreage in the world, India produces sugarcane almost in all the states although the greater part of the production comes from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Maharasthra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab. While the north Indian states dominate the production, the South Indian supremacy is revealed in its average yield.
The advantage of peninsular India lies in its longer growing season, which permits greater number of crops from one planting. Yet the South Indian states are permanently handicapped in certain ways. Too much dependence on irrigation, poor soil conditions and competition from other cash crops especially tobacco limit the expansion of sugarcane acreage in South India.
Approximately, 55% of the total sugarcane production in India is utilized for the manufacture of Gur and Khandsari. Only a little over 25% is used for manufacturing crystal or centrifugal sugar.
Of the peninsular states Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka together produce nearly 35% of India's sugarcane.
The important sugarcane producing countries are Cuba, Brazil, India, Philippines, Australia, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Pakistan and Mauritius.
Sugar beet production
Physical and economic conditions. The sugar beet, indigenous to Europe, grows best where the climate is moist and mild, and where the mean summer temperature is 16°C and the annual rainfall does not usually exceed 63.5 cm. Fairly heavy yet friable and deep soils are ideal 63.5 cm. Fairly heavy yet friable and deep soils are ideal since they retain moisture and allow the roots to grow unimpeded. It should be remembered that sugar beet is essentially a root crop.
The economic conditions must ensure scientific crop rotation, heavy fertilization and a market for the beet pulp as the feedstuff . Planting, thinning, tilling and harvesting sugar beets make cheap labour essential to the industry. However 85% of the production is performed under highly mechanized environment of Europe and America where agriculture hardly remains the simple care of soil'.
Europe. The U.S.S.R is by far the largest producer of sugar beet, representing about 30% of the world's production. The U.S.S.R., East and West Germany, France Czechoslovakia and Poland together account for nearly 60% of the world's beet sugar production. It should be emphasized that the commercial character of the industry stems not so much from the international movement of its product but mainly from the international movement since beet sugar furnishes a large part of the European sugar requirements.
USA. The U.S.A. makes a substantial contribution to the world production, About 20% of the US. sugar requirement is furnished by its beet sugar.
Outside Europe and the United States, China and Japan are other important beet sugar producing nations of the world. Incidentally, China is the fifth largest producer of cane sugar and the seventh largest producer of beet in the world. China grows sugar beet mainly with the help of manual labour.
Problems of plantation farming in the tropics.
Commercial plantation farming as a whole occupies a very insignificant fraction of agricultural landscape of the world and is confined mainly to the hot, humid tropical region of the world where it was developed by the colonialists. of the past few centuries with the inhuman utilization of native or indentured labour force or the slaves who were made to work under the conditions of 'concentration camps'. With the departure of the colonialists the working conditions have vastly improved. However other problems have cropped up.
(a) Long years of plantation have brought about a fall in productivity. It has led to the shift in plantation districts in many countries.
(b) In many areas, plantation farming has made way for other cash crops or food crops.
(c) Plantation farming is mostly located in the heavy rainfall regions, and thus, the leaching of soil fertility is a major problem.
(d) Spread of plant diseases constitutes a serious threat to contiguous plantation. One such spread of disease resulted in the complete destruction of coffee plantation in Sri Lanka.
(e) Exorbitant export duties or methods of valorization sometimes remove the product of certain regions from competitive position
(f) Lack of control over the production from the small holding owned by the native sometimes glut the market causing serious disequilibrium in the market conditions.
(g) Monoculture is not always considered desirable since it involves considerable risk of crop failure.