The stabilisation of production and productivity of sugarcane is important for rising internal consumption of sugar and for ensuring adequate exports. The prospect of sugarcane as a future renewable energy crop for ethanol production, due to its increasing use as a fuel blend in the automobile sector in addition to the cogeneration of electricity, has got the further boost.
Mr. Reginald Cooray, Honorable Minister of Minor Export Crops Promotion, Govt. of Sri Lanka, visited institute
Dedicated efforts of Sugarcane Scientists in developing technologies are commendable and wonderful, said Mr. Reginald Cooray, Honorable Minister of Minor export crops promotion, Govt. of Sri Lanka during their visit to Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow on June 03-05, 2012. High level 5 members delegation from Sri Lanka was on 3 days visit to IISR, Lucknow & Sugar mills of UP to study the Research and development activities of Indian sugar industry. The Sri Lankan delegation led by Hon. Minister comprises of Mrs. Herath, Additional Secretary, Minister of minor exports crops promotion, Mr. S.K. Cyril, Chairman of Sugarcane Research Institute and Dr. N.C. Kumarsinghe, Director/CEO of Sugarcane Research Institute, Sri Lanka and Mrs. Chandrika Cooray, Assistant Secretary, MMECP.
High cost of production, low yield, low profit margin, poor technology adoption and preference for cash crops like tea, rubber etc. are major problems of Sri Lanka sugar industry due to which sugarcane yield at 45 t/ha and the sugar recovery at 7.00% are very low. These led to import of 95% domestic requirement of sugar in Sri Lanka from other countries, as said by Hon. Minister Mr. Cooray. Sri. Lanka Govt. is trying hard to achieve target to meet 30% domestic sugar requirement from own production in near future. In this, the rich & vast experiences of Indian sugarcane scientists and Indian sugar industry can be of great help for Sri Lanka to strengthen & improve sugarcane & sugar scenario in the country.
At the occasion Dr. S. Solomon, Director, IISR presented a brief account of status of Indian sugar industry with highlights of technologies developed by the institute. Dr. Solomon said that there are certain areas like introduction of high sugar variety like CoLK 94184, improved production technologies, bio-intensive management of pests & diseases, mechanization of Sugarcane cultivation, application of GIS & GPS in sugarcane agriculture, training for human resource capacity building, water saving sugarcane technology, intercropping with sugarcane etc. where IISR can extend help to improve Sugarcane cultivation in Sri Lanka. India is second largest producer of sugar in the world with 25 million tones sugar production with cane yield level of about 70 t/ha and recovery at 10%. However, Dr. Solomon informed the delegation about IISR efforts to achieve the average 100 t/ha Sugarcane yield & 11% sugar recovery by the year 2030. While addressing the scientists Hon. Minister Mr. Reginold Cooray said that in today’s world of science & technology, no country is independent and every country of the world is inter-dependent. Under this philosophy Minister urged Indian scientists to extend help for strengthening research & development in Sri Lanka in order to improve sugarcane cultivation situation.
During visit Sri Lanka delegation visited laboratories and experimental farm at IISR and got enlightened in recent advances in sugarcane cultivation. Dr. T.K. Srivastava, Head Crop Production Division extended vote of thanks to visiting deligates and firmly conveyed the message of “Vasudhev Kutumbakam” to honorable guests from Sri Lanka.