Punjab hopes to crush 590 lakh quintals sugarcane in 2007-08
PUNJAB expects to crush 590 lakh quintals of sugarcane during 2007-08 against 509 lakh quintals during the last season, as crushing by sugar mills in the state starts from Wednesday. The state has also targeted to produce 56.6 lakh quintals of sugar during this year as compared with 48.66 lakh quintals in the last season, Punjab cane commissioner M S Sandhu said here on Tuesday. The availability of sugarcane in the state has improved during this season on account of substantial increase in the area under cultivation. "In 2007-08, the area under sugarcane increased to 1.38 lakh hectares from 1.18 lakh hectares during last year," he said. As a result, Punjab has projected sugarcane production at 842 lakh quintals in the ongoing fiscal as compared to 731 lakh quintals last year. With sufficient availability of sugarcane, mills in the state would run to their full capacity, he said. 16 sugar mills would be crushing cane for 180 days during this season, out of which, nine are co-operative mills while the remainder 7 are private ones, he said. However, the government will not revise the State Advised Prices (SAP) for sugarcane this year.