• Sugarcane and sugarbeet are the main sources of sugar in the world.
  • Out of total sugar produced in the world 60 per cent is obtained only from sugarcane.
  • Asia is the largest producer of sugar followed by Europe
  • Most of the sugar in Asia comes from sugarcane whereas in Europe from sugarbeet.
  • Presently sugarcane is grown in an area of 26 m. ha. in over 79 countries.
  • The global production of raw sugar is 183 m.t.
  • Brazil stands first in area (9.70 m. ha) and production (721 m.t) among the sugarcane growing countries of the world. India stands second place with 5.09 million ha.
  • The main reason for low productivity of sugarcane in the country is that this crop is grown in very small holdings by millions of farmers under extremely diverse growing conditions - most favourable ones to least favourable ones.
  • Therefore, our sugarcane production problems are quiet different from other countries and hence, require specific production technologies that could be adopted by our farming situations.
  • Uttar Pradesh has the largest area almost 50 per cent of the cane area in the country, followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana and Punjab. These are the most important sugarcane producing states.
  • Sugarcane production is also highest in U.P. followed by Maharashtra. Productivitywise, Tamilnadu stands first with over 100 tonnes per hectare followed by Karnataka, Maharashtra. Bihar has the lowest productivity amount the major sugarcane growing states.
  • The sugar Industry is the second largest agro-based industry, next only to Textiles, in the country.
  • There are 527 sugar factories (2010- 11) which utilise around 40-50% of the cane produced manufacturing 242 lakhs metric tonnes of sugar.
  • The sugar industry contributes over 1,000 crores to the Central Exchequer as excise duty and taxes annually.
  • Besides, almost an equal amount is realised by the state Governments through purchase taxes, cess etc.
  • The domestic sugar consumption is 23.1 m.tonnes with an export of 1.0 m.tonnes.
  • The percapita consumption of white sugar is 18 kg and that of gur and Khand sari is 5 kg.
  • Sugar factories, being located in rural areas, supporting huge economic activities in the rural India. This sugar industry generates rural employment.
  • Sugarcane is a renewable, natural agricultural resource because it provides sugar, besides biofuel, fibre, fertilizer and myriad of by products/co-products with ecological sustainability.
  • In addition to sugar, 38 value added products of commercial importance are attained.
  • Sugar juice is used for making white sugar, brown sugar (Khandsari) and Jaggery (Gur).
  • The main by products of sugar industry are bagasse and molasses. Molasses, the chief by-product, is the main raw material for alcohol and thus for alcohol - based industries in the country.
  • During the year 1994-95, 6.5 million tonnes of molasses was produced in the country. Sugarcane bagasse (the fibrous material leftover after crushing) is the chief source of power in the sugar mills.
  • Excess bagasse is now being used as raw material in the paper industry.
  • Besides, co-generation of power using bagasse as fuel is considered feasible in most sugar mills, it has been estimated that about 3500 MW power can be generated annually with out extra fuel and investments much less than required for generating the same through thermal power plants.
  • Another by-product, Pressmud, contains Considerable amount of plant nutrients and could be an important source of organic matter, major and micronutrients.
  • Sugarcane green tops are used as cattle feed. In urban areas sugarcane juice has great demand as a thirst quencher.
  • Sugarcane provides the cheapest form of energy giving food (Sucrose) with the lowest unit of land area per unit of energy produced.
  • It has been estimated that an average man's annual food consumption is equivalent approximately to one million calories.
  • Under present agricultural system, this is produced by 1/8 of an acre of sugarcane, while whole wheat flour requires seven times, milk 20 times and beef over 100 times as much land to produce the same amount.



  • Modern sugarcane is a complex hybrid of two or more of five species of the genus Saccharum.
  • It belongs to family Gramineae, class monocotyledons and order glumaceae sub family panicoidae, tribe Andripogoneae and subtribe saccharininea.
  • The cultivated canes belong to two main groups: (a) thin, hardy north Indian types S.barberi and the Chinese S.Sinense and (b) thick, juicy noble canes S.Officinarum.
  • Highly prized cane is S.Officinarum. It is probably evolved from S.robustum by introgression from other genera.
  • Thus, S.robustum is the closest wild relative and putative ancestor of S.officinarum.
  • It is agreed that the origin of S.officinarum is the Indo-Myanmar china border with New Guinea as the main centre of diversity.
  • The officinarums are called the "noble canes' due to thick, juicy, low-fibred canes of high sucrose content.
  • The process of nobilization in Sugarcane is the modified back crossing of wild cane.
  • S.spontaneum with S.Officinarum and a repeated back crossing to the noble parent (S.Officinarum).
  • Some of the important noble cane cultivars were Otaheita, Cheribon, Calodonia, Badila etc.
  • However, by 1975, the noble cane era ended due to serious diseases like mosaic, sereh, smut and red rot.
  • It is stated that the cradle of cultivated sugarcane is the region where two wild species i.e., saccharum spontaneum and S.robustum are found. S.robustum is derived from natural crossing between S.spontaneum and Miscanthis floridulus and the origin is New Guinea.
  • The origin of S.spontaneum is subtropical India. The habitat of these two wild canes is swamps, river banks, water courses etc.
  • One small group of canes is S.edule which is related to S.robustum and the aborted inflorescences of these species are used as food by the natives of Melanesia.
  • Cultivation of sugarcane in India dates back to the Vedie period.
  • The earliest mention of sugarcane cultivation is found in Indian writings of the period 1400 to 1000 B.C. the word 'sugar' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Sankkara' or 'sarkara'.
  • Barber (1931) was of the opinion that the thin Indian canes probably originated in the moist parts of north eastern Indian, from some plant closely related to Saccharum spontaneum. (Kans).Tropical cane might have originated in some of the larger islands of Occania, most probably in New Guinea.
  • Brandes (1956) also concluded that it originated in New Guinea, where various forms of thick, tall, tropical cane have been grown from ancient times

The genus Saccharum has five important species viz.,

    1.   Saccharum Officinarum,
    2.   S.Sinense
    3.   S.barberi
    4.   S.robustum
    5.   S.spontanuem.

The first three species are the cultivated species and the last two are wild ones.

Saccharum Officinarum

  • This is the species usually referred to when we speak of sugarcane.
  • This is one of the original cultivated species, though none of the original officinarums is industrially grown at present.
  • Several officinarum varieties were under cultivation before the advent of hybrid varieties. It is rich in sucrose.
  • Its stalks are vigorous and long with low fibre content. The Dutch scientists called them "noble canes". It has 2n=80 chromosomes. At present they are grown for chewing purpose.

Saccharum sinense

  • This is known as "Chinese Cane" as its place of origin is central and South east China.
  • It is thin stalked with long internodes, and long and narrow leaves.
  • They are low and in sucrose and purity, high in fibre and starch.
  • The chromosome number is 2n=111 to 120. "Uba" is one of the notable varieties under this species which was in cultivation in several countries.
  • At present the species is considered unsuitable for commercial cultivation.

Saccharum barberi

  • This species derives its name from the scientist Dr.C.A.Barber who described these original canes of subtropical India.
  • This is known as "Indian species". It has chromosome numbers 2n=81 to 124.
  • These were under large scale cultivation in the subtropical India for manufacture of gur and Khandsari sugar.
  • These are sturdier and disease resistant and have higher sugar and fibre contents. They are thin stalked.
  • The clones of this species are highly tolerant to high and low temperatures, problem soils and water logged conditions.
  • However, because of their very poor yields, they are not under commercial cultivation at present.

Saccharum robustum

  • This species was discovered in New Guinea Islands. The stalks are long, thick and vigorous growing.
  • It is rich in fibre and poor in sugar. The chromosome number is 2n=60 and 80.
  • This is a wild species and not suitable for agricultural production.

Saccharum spontaneum

  • This is also known as "wild cane". Its varieties have varying number of chromosomes (2n=40 to 128). Considerable variation is noticed in the morphology of the species.
  • In general the cane is very thin and short, the leaves are narrow and hard.
  • The plant is very sturdy and resistant to most diseases.
  • The species is not useful for sugar production.
  • The sugar content is very low.
  • This species is useful for evolving hybrid varieties particularly to obtain disease and stress resistant types.
  • Both the Chinese and Indian canes were carried by Arab traders to Persia, Syria, Cyprus, Malta and Sicily in the Mediterranean.
  • Alexander the great took this "honey reed" to Aftica after the conquest of India. By the 15th centruty it reached Europe via Egypt and Marocco and in the 17th century, it moved to the "Sugar isles" of the Caribbean and North East Brazil.
  • By the 19th century sugar beet got established as an industrial crop.
  • But 60 per cent of sugar comes from sugarcane and is distributed in 37 North and South of Equator.
  • Presently this giant grass is grown in over 79 countries.
  • Sugarcane is intimately associated with Indian mythology.
  • The word saccharum seems to originate from Sanskrit word "Sarkara". It symbolises prosperity for it adorns Goddess of wealth "Sri Lakshmi".
  • The most ancient reference to sugarcane is in Athervaveda which is 5000 years old.
  • It is also referred extensively in Buddhist literature. During Alexander's invasion, hig generals observed sugarcane as a closely managed garden crop.
  • Now India has been widely accepted as the original home of this sugarcanes that were under cultivation in North India.
  • Ancient Greek doctors referred it as "Indian salt".



  • Sugarcane is grown over the land surface of the earth between latitudes 35oN and 35oS.
  • The important sugarcane producing countries in the world are India, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, chine, Philippines and Thailand.
  • It is one of the important crops of the world cultivated over an Modern Techniques of Raising Field Crops area of 13.46 million hectares with a total production of 754.13 million tonnes of cane (1979)
  • In India area and production of sugarcane has been fluctuating from year to year depending upon pricing policy and climatic conditions.
  • It occupies about 3.1 million hectares. The total production of cane is 156.45 million tonnes.
  • Uttar Pradesh has the largest acreage under sugarcane, and accounts for about 52 per cent of the area under this crop in whole of India and also accounts for 40 per cent of the total annual production.
  • Productivity is the highest in Tamil Nadu followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka.
  • India ranks first among sugarcane-growing countries of the world in both extent of area and production of cane. Along with white sugar, Khandsari (indigenous) sugar and gur(jaggery) are also consumed in the country.
  • Parthasarathy (1946) referred to Tamil classics of the Sangam period (2000BC) Pattirrup-pattu where refrences were made to growth, arrowing and cultivation.
  • Caraka reported in 100BC about existance of two sugarcane types viz., iksh and Paundra.
  • In 200 BC Patanjali mentioned that by about 400 BC sugarcane was familiar at Takshasila. There were citations on sugarcane during 800 BC in Atharva Veda and Manu in 1000 BC.
  • Sugarcane was first mentioned in China during 286 AD (Bashan) and it was reported to be known in the period of Su-ma-siang Ju.
  • After the time of Buddha, Indian sailors who possibly had contacts with Burma, Indonesia and Malaya would have brought Saccharum officinarum to India from Indonesia.
  • Saccharum is the Latin name proposed by Linne in 1753 as a derivation from Karkara and Sakkara from Sanskrit and Prakrit.
  • It is the opinion of many explorers that sugarcane had its origin in Saccharum barberi Jesweit of North India, and that Saccharum officinarum had Polynesian origin.
  • Barber and Jesweit (1930) indicated that Saccharum officinarum evolved in Malaysia - Indonesia-Papua-new Guinea region or in the islands of Polynesia or Melanesia groups.
  • Brandes et al. have mentioned in records of their expedition during 1928 that maximum diversity was noted in New Guinea from where Saccharum officnarum might have evolved and since S. robustum was endemic to this area, the latter may be the ancestor of the former. It was accepted then as both the species had chromosome number of 2n= 80. Warner and Grassl also confirmed it after the expedition in 1957.


Area,Production and Productivity

  • The total sugarcane area during 1950 – 51 was 1.7 million hectares which rose to 2.46 million hectares by 1960 – 61 and to 2.62 million hectares by 1970 – 71. Over the last 25 years, the area has expanded by 45.8 percent and the present area is 3.82 million hectares.
  • Sugarcane production also had similar increases. During the year 1994 – 95, it was an all time high of 271m. tonnes.
  • Sugarcane is cultivated in the most of the Indian states at present. Uttar Pradesh has the largest area almost 50 per cent of the cane area in the country, followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh(erstwhile), Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana and Punjab. These nine are the most important sugarcane producing States.

World Sugarcane area, production and productivity in different Countries during 2012

Area in ha.
Production in Mt
Productivity in Kg/ha
South Africa
United States of America
Viet Nam

Source : Faostat citation

Sugarcane area, production and productivity in different States of India for 2012-13

Sugarcane area (’000 ha)
Sugarcane production (’000 tonnes)
Sugarcane productivity (tonnes/ha)
Andhra Pradesh (Composite)
Madhya Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
Uttar Pradesh

Source:Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore

Districtwise Area, Production & Productivity of Sugarcane in Andhra Pradesh 2012-13

Area in Hectares
Production in tonnes
Yield in Kg/ha
Mahaboobnagar 4027 261209 102154
Rangareddy 2148 87789 68371
Medak 42601 1905683 89967
Nizamabad 14137 577022 81214
Adilabad 2 184 92000
Karimnagar 3943 159111 82569
Khammam 10635 502177 85521
Nalgonda 1878 80802 85144

Source : Season and Crop report , AP Govt.(erstwhile)

  • Sugarcane production is highest in Uttar Pradesh followed by Maharashtra. Productivity-wise, Tamil Nadu stands first with over 92 tonnes per hectare followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra. Madhyapradesh has the lowest productivity among the major sugarcane growing States.
  • The first sugar mill was established during 1784 in Bengal on the banks of river Hoogly. During 1994 – 95, there were 408 mills in operation with an average crushing capacity of 2452 tonnes per day and a crushing duration of 161 days.



  • Sugarcane belongs to the genus Saccharum in the family Gramineae,
  • Cultivated sugarcane is classified into three species.

Saccharum officinarum

  • These are thick and juicy canes good for chewing purpose also.
  • This species includes the tropical canes indigenous to the New Guinea.
  • These canes contain high sugar content, low fibre and produce high tonnage.
  • These are generally resistant to smut but are susceptible to red rot and mosaic diseases.
  • The cultivation of this species is limited to tropical areas. But in recent years these canes have been succeeded by hybridisation among Officianarum, spontaneum and other species in subtropical regions.

Saccharum sinense

  • This species of cultivated sugarcane is indigenous to north-eastern India.
  • This species is characterised by long and thin stalks, broad leaves, low to medium sucrose content and early maturity.
  • This species includes 'Pansahi', 'Nargori' and 'Mungo' groups of sugarcane.
  • Internodes of these canes are long and more or less zigzag and nodes are prominent.

Saccharum barberi

  • This species is also indigenous to north-eastern India.
  • It characterised by short mid thin stalks, narrow leaves, low to medium sucrose content, and early maturity.
  • This species includes 'Sarethe' and 'Sunnabile' groups of sugarcane. Both the above mentioned species, indigenous to north-eastern India were in cultivation for many centuries but now-a-days canes of these species have been replaced by complex hybrid clones.
  • In addition to the above three cultivated species there are two wild species S. spontaneum and S. robustum.


Industrial and other uses of Sugarcane

  • Sugarcane used for the production of white sugar, Jaggery (Gur), Khandsari.
  • In addition, sugarcane also used for chewing and extraction of juice for beverage purpose.

Manufacture of Sugar

  • Sugarcane consists of sugars as well as non-sugars, several processes such as clarification, concentration, crystallisation and purification are needed to separate sugar from non sugars.
  • The main objective of the heavy complex machinery installed in a sugar factory is to aid such separation in cane juice in the most efficient manner possible.

Modern Manufacturing Processes

Cane Preparation

  • The cane stalks are carried in the cane carrier by two endless chains of roller type and placed at an angle.
  • They are cut into chips by a set of revolving knives and are also torn into shreds by hammer mill shredders reversal of cane knives is also being adopted to improve efficiency of cane preparation.
  • The shredders help shredding the cane to improve mill extraction and crushing
  • Heavily grooved crusher rollers break the cane and extract the juice. Intensive preparation of cane helps in increasing the capacity and extraction of the milling plant.

Cane Crushing

  • A sugar mill consists of multiple units (4 to 6) of three roller combination (12 to 18 rollers in all). In each set, three rollers are arranged in a triangular form and are called (i) Cane or feed roller (ii) Top roller and (iii) bagasse or discharge roller.
  • Feed roller and bagasse roller are fixed at the bottom while the top roller may vary in position according to the feed of cane and the thickness of matting of prepared cane.
  • Steam engines or turbines are used for driving the mills. Hydraulic pressure on the top roller enables extraction of maximum juice from the crushed cane leaving bagasse.
  • The final bagasse or crushed cane is wood fibre containing about 48% to 50% moisture and is generally used in the boilers as fuel but can be used for manufacture of paperboard of paper.


  • Sprays of water or thin juice and this process is called ' imbibition' or 'macertation'.

Sucrose extraction

  • Adoption of modern methods in imbibition enables extraction of over 93% of sugar in cane, and this is known as sugar extraction
  • The mixed juice contains particles of fine bagasse which are removed before the juice goes for clarification.


  • The juice from the mills is turbid, dark green in colour, acidic in character and contains both soluble and insoluble impurities.
  • These are removed by using chemicals and heat as clarifying agents and this process is called clarification.
  • Heating and filtering removes the colloids which cause turbidity in juice.
  • Lime treatment removes gums, pectins, organic and inorganic acid salts by precipitation.
  • Colouring matter is removed by treatment with sulphur dioxide.
  • The juice extracted by the mills is passed through a metal strainer to remove suspended purities. Use of clarifying agents like Milk of Lime and Sulphur dioxide helps in precipitation Non-sugars as mud gets separated from clear juice by sedimentation in classifiers and are filtered with the help of rotary drum vacuum filters.
  • The precipitate from the juice is called press cake, and is used as fertiliser and in preparation of other byproducts while the clarified light juice is sent to the evaporators.
  • Two processes are in vogue in clarification the more common one is sulphitition and the other is carbonation.


  • Milk of lime is added to the raw juice to neutralise the acidity of the juice and to keep the juice alkaline up to PH 9.0-10.5. Excess lime is neutralised by passing sulphur dioxide gas. Sulphur dioxide is used as the chief bleaching agent to make the juice brilliant and light in colour.
  • The juice treated with lime and sulphur dioxide is heated to boiling point so that the precipitate settles down leaving the clear juice at the top.


  • In this process excess of lime is neutralised by passing carbon dioxide gas resulting in precipitate of calcium carbonate.
  • The lime stone mixed with coke is burnt in a special kiln to obtain burnt lime as well as carbon dioxide.
  • Carbonation is a costlier process than sulphitition as the requirement of lime is high.
  • The whole juice after treatments filtered using plate frame type filters. But the latest system is to have continuous clarification in a single tray-type clarifier with vacuum filters.


  • The clarified juice contains about 85% water, two thirds of which is evaporated in a series of vaccum boiling cells of multiple effect evaporators thus-avoiding destruction of sugar caused by boiling of juice over direct fire or by steam in air.
  • This also results in better fuel economy. These evaporator are arranged in a series and the juice is boiled in such a way that each succeeding evaporator has a higher vacuum and therefore boils at a lower temperature.
  • The juice thus become more and more concentrated and in the last evaporator turn into syrup containing about 60-65% solids and the rest water.

Sugar boiling and crystallisation

  • The evaporated syrup is black in colour. Sulphur dioxide is passed-through this syrup to' bleach the colouring matter
  • The sulphured syrup is then evaporated till it gets saturate with sugar.
  • Seed grain is added to serve as nuclei for sugar crystals and as the water evaporates syrup is further added.
  • The concentration of syrup and formation of crystals achieved in-vacuum pans.
  • Pan boiling is an important skilled operation as the size and colour of crystals of the fin product sugar are determined by the quality of pan boiling.
  • In a boiling system 3 types of massecuites A, B C are dealt with the first Grade A' massecuite, which produced by boiling the Syrup alone and other higher pure materials like melt etc., is centrifuged to separate sugar as molasses and these are called 'A' sugar and 'A' heavy molasses and after washing, 'A' light molasses. Similarly from 'B' & massecuites' 'B' & 'C' sugars.


  • In some sugar factories cane is prepared by two sets of cane knives and one set of mills for primary extraction of about 65% to 70% of the sugar content and the remaining Sugar in bagasse is extracted by the diffuser.
  • The bagasse contains 85% moisture which has to be reduced to about 48%-50% before it can be used as fuel in the boilers.
  • slurry of prepared cane material is passed through the diffuser with conveyor,it is subjected to intensive sprays of juice of progressively decreasing concentration.
  • The bagasse coming out of the diffuser contains large quantity of residual juice which is squeezed out by passing the bagasse through one or two sets of three roller mills.
  • The residual juice extracted by the dewatering mills is screened and milk of lime added to bring the PH of the juice to 9.0, heated to 800 C and sent to the clarifier for settling the suspended impurities.
  • Operation of the diffuser is fully-automatic with minimal manual supervision.


  • The massecuite from the crystallisers is pumped into a revolving, machine called 'centrifuge'. Washing with water and then steaming under high speed, the centrifugal force of the centrifuges is increased expelling molasses into the casing of the machine, retaining sugar crystals on-the perforated sheet.
  • Spinning is continued till the- sugar crystals are practically free from molasses. Such separation is called 'purging' or' curing.
  • The use of superheated steam or wash water has eliminated the process of drying of sugar but on the other hand the sugar has to be cooled in a cooler before it is packed in jute bags.
  • The final molasses which is heavy and viscous contains about one-third sucrose, one-third reducing sugars and the rest non-sugars. It serves as raw material for production of industrial alcohol and yeast and is also useful as cattle feed.


  • Grading of sugar is done in sugar graders of vibrating type with different decks fitted with various meshes and the sugar from each deck is collected through separate chutes into the bags; directly.
  • Grading of sugar is done according, to size of grain and presently there are five grades in India viz., A1, B, C, D & E of which A1 has the biggest and 'E' has the smallest crystal size.
  • Sugar is classified according to colour also, Presently there are only two colours 29 and 30. The later, being superior to the former.
  • With five grain sizes and two colours, there are in all ten grades of sugar.
  • Recently under new gradation, Government of India reduced the existing five grain sizes to three grades Large, Medium and Small, the two colour series remaining as they are.
  • The new gradation has come into force from 1984-85 crushing season.

Packing and weighing

  • Sugar is packed in 100 kg bags which are stitched mostly by machines.
  • Sugar for export is packed in 50 kg special gunny bags having polythene lining to withstand multiple handling and transportation to long distances.


  • Sugar bags are stored in pucca godowns mostly by manual labour. In many of the factories stacking is now being done by conveyor belts and stacking equipment.
  • Raw Sugar: A major portion of world's sugar production is from sugarcane and also from sugar beet
  • Next to white sugare "Gur" is in great demand particularly in rural India.

Uses of Jaggery

  • For preparing many traditional sweets.
  • For preparing country liquor (arrack)
  • Thick syrup of Jaggery (Kakvi) consumed along with chapatis and rotis.
  • Added to several culinary preparations.
  • Added as one of the ingradient in some pickles.
  • A component in several traditional home remidies.
  • Used in preparing cattle feed
  • Thick Jaggery solution is fed to honey bees to prepare honey.

Quality parameters of Jaggery

  • Colour (light, golden yellow colour)
  • Hardness (should be hard)
  • Structure (crystalline structure)
  • Taste (Sweet without any saltishness or any other taste)
  • Flavour (Pleasant flavour)
  • Shelf life (longer keeping quality)

Quality parameters of Juice for getting good quality Jaggery

  • High sucrose and high purity
  • High total sugars
  • High level of Phosphate content.
  • Low level of colloidal matter, ash, mineral matter and organic non-sugar such as nitrogen (higher N produce soft Jaggery) amino acids (higher amino-acid content gives dark colour to Jaggery), starch and gums.

How to get good quality Jaggery

  • Select varieties having high sucrose content, high purity and low colloids.
  • Choose early maturing, high sugared varieties (COC 671, Co 6907, CoJ64, Co 7704 etc).
  • Well drained medium to light textured soils with neutral pH and less salt content are preferred.
  • Calcareous soils gives poor quality Jaggery.
  • Soils with high pH and CaCo3 gives juice with more ash and colloids leads to poor quality.
  • Swampy soils - poor keeping quality.
  • Heavy black soils - black colour to jaggery.
  • Early planting is advantageous.
  • Avoid late and excess manuring particulary N.
  • Use more organic sources of nutrients.
  • P-application useful for better clarification.
  • P-application neutralise ill effects of N.
  • Ammonium sulphate is better N-fertlizer over urea (since sulphur is present)
  • Late application of fertlizers is deleterious.
  • Irrigation with saline water gives soft and saltish-taste Jaggery.
  • Provide less irrigation at maturity for better sugar accumulation.
  • Pest and disease infested cane give poor quality Jaggery.
  • Immature or over matured canes have less sugar and more non-sugars and reducing sugars leads to poor keeping quality (inversion of sucrose is a serious problem in overaged canes).
  • Flowered cane should be avoided.
  • There should not be pith in the cane.
  • Crush the cane within 24 hours of harvest.
  • Harvesting to ground level is important since, the lower internodes are rich in sucrose.
  • Avoid crushing of top internodes.

'Gur' manufacture

  • Gur manufacture is an important cottage industry from ancient times.
  • Though considerable technology was developed on scientific lines from imporvement in crushers for better extraction of juice to the storage of Gum.
  • Yet, it must be admitted that the processing of gur continues to be crude and waste ful.
  • Three main operations are involved in the manufacture of gur i. extraction of Juice from cane ii. Purification of Juice, and iii) Concentration into gur.


  • Extraction of juice is done with a crusher or series of crushers.
  • A six-roller hydraulic crusher, having a crushing capacity of 4 tonnes / we, has been designed by the National Sugar Institute, Kanpur, which is said to give 80% extraction and can increase the recovery of gur from 10 to12%.


  • The juice is boiled for concentration and removal of dissolved foreign material in a circular pan made of iron or zinc sheets, over a furnace.
  • The suspended impurities and the gummy colloidal constituents in the Juice are removed by coagulation during the first heating, lasting about 30-45 minutes.
  • Then the juice is clarrified using clarificants to remove all impurities which would favour inversion of sugar. Lime is the most widely used chemical clarificants by virtue of its easy availability, begins to crystallize.
  • It is stirred slowly and intermittently to avoid loss of granular structure.
  • The semi-solid mass is then put into moulds.

Khandsari industry

  • The word "Khandsari" is derived from the word "Khandsale" meaning sugar house with the development of the whole sugar industry, the word Khandsari came to represent the old indigenous process of white sugar manufacture.
  • Khandsari sugar is yellow to whitish in colour, opaque and dull in texture and either powdery or very small grained.
  • It is said to have easy digestibility and better nutritive qualities.
  • UP is the cradle of the Khandsain industry.
  • The boiled juice called the "Rab" is taken out and filled into bags generally made of wool, these bags are placed one over the other and pressure is applied through mannual labour for draining out the molasses.
  • When the flow of molasses stops, the bag is emptied into special pits with brick flooring which is covered with a thick layer of the sea weed (Sewar).
  • The moistened sea-weed generates heat, creating chemical reactions.
  • In 3 days all the mass of molasses is drained out and it becomes white.
  • Every alternate day the upper layer or white sugar is removed and the process continued until the entire material is treated.
  • The sugar is sun dried and then it becomes ready for market.
  • Much of the sugar goes into the molasses and thus the recovery is hardly 5% the khandsari industry was started in UP and has now spread to many states notalogy A.P, MP, Maharashtra, Punjab, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.


  • Though no precise estimate is available about the extent of cane used for chewing and beverage purposes, it easily ranges from 1.5 to 2.0 percent of the total cane production.
  • Varieties grown for chewing purpose are infact true officinarums.
  • Chewing cane must be attractive in colour, thick easy to peel and split, should be juicy, having more sugar, soft with less fibre and should have less or no wax on the rind surface.
  • The rind of the cane should be less thickness and hardness.

Sugarcane for juice

  • Sugarcane juice is consumed directly.
  • Cane for this purpose have higher sucrose, fructose and glucose levels are desirable.
  • Also cane with higher extraction and less fibre and non-sugar component in juice and preferred.
  • Besides selecting a good variety for choosing or for extraction of juice, other requirement is to ensure good soil so that cane growth is assured and thus higher juice volume.
  • Salt affected soils as well as saline water irrigation should be avoided as these would affect juice taste and colour.
  • It is desirable to use no or less pesticides.
  • Late application of fertilizers, particularly of N, should be avoided as otherwise, there could be more soluble N in juice which is undesirable.
  • Effluent water and polluted soils should not be used for growing cane for chewing and juice purposes.


Sugarcane growing regions

  • Broadly there are two distinct agro-climatic regions of sugarcane cultivation in India, viz., tropical and subtropical.
  • However, five agro-climatic zones have been identified mainly for the purpose of varietal development. They are
    1. 1.  North Western Zone
      2.  North Central Zone
      3.  North Eastern Zone,
      4.  Peninsular Zone
      5.  Coastal Zone.

Tropical Sugarcane region

  • The tropical sugarcane region consists of sugarcane agro climatic zone 4 (peninsular zone) and 5(Coastal zone) which includes the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Pondichery and Kerala.
  • In the coastal areas of A.P. and Tamil Nadu there are extensive sugarcane areas with high sugarcane productivities.
  • Floods, water logging diseases such as red rot are the main problems.
  • In the tropical region, sugarcane gets more or less ideal climatic conditions for its growth.
  • It is cultivated with better package of practices and higher irrigation levels.
  • The growing season is long with more equitable and favourable conditions without serious weather extremes.
  • Being a tropical country, the agro-climatic conditions of tropical India favour higher sugarcane and sugar yields.
  • The tropical region contributes about 40 per cent to the total cane production in the country.
  • The productivities are higher.
  • The average cane yields of the major states of the region (Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat) is around 80 tonnes per hectare.
  • Maharashtra and the adjoining area of Karnataka, Gujarat and A.P. record higher sugar recoveries.
  • Long hours of sunshine, cool nights with clear skies and the latitudinal position of this area are highly favourable for sugar accumulation.
  • This is why average recoveries of Maharashtra and Gujarat are highest in the country.
  • Moisture stress during the early part of the cane growths mostly during March to June, is an important problem.
  • Smut is an important disease affecting sugarcane production in this region particularly in the plateau region.
  • In the coastal areas red rot has become a major threat.
  • Among the pests, early shoot borer, particularly in the late planted crops, is considerably serious.

Sub-tropical sugarcane region

  • Around 60-65 per cent of total cane area in the country is in the sub-tropics. U.P, Bihar, Haryana and Punjab comes under this region.
  • Extremes of climate is the characteristic feature of this region.
  • During April to June, the weather is very hot and dry.
  • July to October is rainy season accounting for most of the rainfall from S-W monsoon rains.
  • December and January are the very cold months temperature touching sub-zero levels in many places.
  • November to March are cool months with clear sky.
  • The N-W zone comprising the areas in Haryana, Punjab, Western Rajasthan and Western U.P. has very low temperature in December-January which often cause frost.
  • During May and June, the temperatures are extremely high.
  • Because of extremes of weather, the active sugarcane growth is restricted to 4-5 months only.
  • In Eastern U.P, Bihar, and West Bengal, sugarcane suffers due to floods and water logging during monsoon months.
  • Several pests and diseases, particularly red rot and top borer and pyrilla are common and serious.
  • The cane yields are lower in the subtropics due to short growing season, moisture stress, more pest and disease problem, floods and water logging and very poor ratoons.
  • The average yield of the four major states (U.P, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana) is around 55 tonnes per hectare.
  • However, there is considerable potential to be exported.