Assured maize procurement for ethanol production on anvil | India News

NEW DELHI: As estimated sugar production in the two major cane producing states, Maharashtra and Karnataka, is likely to fall by 20-40%, which may also impact ethanol production, the government will now launch a new scheme for assured procurement of maize only for producing ethanol for blending with petrol.
The sugar production in Maharashtra during the current season is likely to be around 87 lakh tonnes compared to 105 lakh tonnes last year and in Karnataka it’s likely to fall to 37 lakh tonnes against 60 lakh tonnes last year.Uttar Pradesh, however, is likely to see an increase in the sweetener production around 120 lakh tonnes, up from 105 last year. The countries’ sugar production would be around 330 lakh tonnes against 373 lakh tonnes during the last season.
In such a situation, the government is left with no other option than pushing for more grain-based ethanol production, particularly from maize. A committee of ministers has given in-principle approval for better procurement of maize for ethanol manufacturing.
Union food secretary Sanjeev Chopra has said that two government agri-cooperatives – NAFED and NCCF – will now procure maize from farmers at MSP after registering them and will supply them to grain-based distilleries at that price. The incidentals, including additional cost involved in procurement and transportation, will be borne by the food ministry. This is meant to ensure that farmers get MSP, which will ultimately, help promote maize cultivation, officials argued.

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