Sugar Cultivation in India


THE existing worldshortage of sugar lends special interest to all experimental work directed towards any advance in the quantity and quality of this essexitial crop. Sugargrowing and its improvement are attracting an increasing amount of attention in India, the area under sugarcane having risen from 2,184,801 acres in 1909–10 to 2,808,204 acres in 1917–18, while in addition the datepalm and palmyrapalm occupied 184,412 acres in the latter period (“Agric. Statistics for India”, 1917–18, vol. i.). More than half the sugarcane is grown in the United Provinces, chiefly Agra, and the Punjab accounts for about onefifth. Palmsugar, on the other hand, is chiefly associated with Madras, Bengal, and Upper Burma, little being produced elsewhere. The output of sugar for 1918 19 was 2,337,000 tons (Report on Progress of Agriculture in India for 1918–19), but, as this was insufficient to meet home requirements, a large quantity had to be imported. Before the war India was able to produce a surplus of sugar for export, but as this can no longer be done the Government is investigating the possibility of reorganising and developing the sugar industry of the country, and a strong committee has been appointed to determine future policy in this direction. Dr. Barber, who has worked much on the problem, considers that a case has been made out for the foundation of an Imperial Sugar Bureau, of which the “whole duty will be to collect and collate the results obtained in various directions, and thus be in a position to assist the isolated efforts in different parts of the country with sound advice, basea on experience gained by a general survey of the work done in India now and in the past and that accomplished in other countries” (Annual Report of the Board of Scientific Advice for India, 1918–19).


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BRENCHLEY, W. Sugar Cultivation in India. Nature 105, 840–841 (1920).

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