Friday, 14 May 2010

Save Water ... Grow More Sugar

A new system of Rice Intensification (SRI) in India greatly reduces water requirement and ensures higher yield and less chaff.  Motivated by its success, a Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI) has been designed, and was announced by P. Subbian, Registrar, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
He was launching the SSI, an initiative of the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics – Worldwide Fund for Nature (ICRISAT-WWF) Project, in the TN-IAMWARM project at the university.
Mr. Subbian said SSI was a combination of cane planting innovations and water saving practices that had great potential to increase productivity, improve natural resource management, and assure higher income for farmers.


Sugarcane Ethanol said...

ICRISAT has been compiling and Documenting India’s best Sugar cane
growing and Management practices.These Practices were developed and Tested for several years and ICRISAT has been documenting them.
SSI looks to be a step in that direction. With its Resources and Reach
ICRISAT has done and is taking ahead Sweet Sorghum another similar
Crop. SS genes were used in Sugarcane in Japan.

The Enhancement in Sugarcane production can be achieved by Research
work in Genetics, Cytogenetics including introduction of Improved
Varieties, Inter Specific Hybrids, Newer Planting Techniques,
Fertiliser inputs, water application at tiller stage, Weed Control,
Ratoon Management, Crop Physiology and Protection.

To develop and propagate a new variety it takes almost 10-14 years in
making and in South India farmers are still using some varieties for
over 30 years. Success of a Varietal trial depends on confidence of
stake holder’s i.e. Industry and Farmers.

Two major research institutes under the Indian Council of Agricultural
Research, namely, the Sugarcane Breeding Institute (SBI), Coimbatore,
and the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research (IISR),
Lucknow, are already engaged in front-line areas of basic and
strategic research including breeding superior sugarcane varieties/
genotypes, genetic improvement of sugarcane, improved production
technologies, development of appropriate machinery, management of cane
under stress, management of ratoons, development of technology for
quality seed production, farming system research, and sugarcane post-
harvest technology.

Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) is an autonomous body, established by
the sugarcane grower members of the co-operative sugar factories in
Maharashtra State with an active and generous support of Government of
Maharashtra State; it serves needs of Maharashtra and adjacent
regions. All these three have been serving three regions of Indian
Sugar Industry.

Single bud system has been one among such methods which has been there
in the industry and has been successfully tried to certain test
projects in South and among growing regions. In AP it has been
practiced by Dr.Y.Kotaiah at Samalkot and this had resulted in a
saving of 3, 1/2 ton worth of seed cost.

Row Spacing is a mindset and though Industry has been propagating
enhanced spacing for Sunlight penetration, Photosynthesis and ease of
Navigating Sugarcane harvester’s wide acceptance by farmers is yet to
happen. Mulching of Trash has been successful more in Tamilnadu to AP.

Water Conservation and Clogging are both important aspects of
Cultivation of this Crop and Drip Irrigation’s limitation is size of
farm and Cost. Industry has been trying to find ways and means to
achieve these.

A Collective effort both from Sugar managements, Farmers on one side,
Scientific and Technology developers on another with Policy Support
can Conserve, Optimise and enhance yields.

John Heap said...

Thanks for this useful information.

Sekhar said...

Dear John Heap,

Please visit for SSI (Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative) for more documents, news items and etc.

With warm regards,