What are the major regions of sugarcane production in India? Analyze the shift of sugar industry from Northern to Peninsular India in recent times.
Model Answer: Sugarcane is produced in both tropical and subtropical regions in three distinct regions as follows:
- Sutlej-Ganga plain from Punjab to Bihar containing 51% of the total area and 60% of the country’s total production.
- The black soil belt from Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu along the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.
- Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Krishna river valley.
Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka are three largest states producing sugar in India. Other main sugarcane producing states include Bihar, Assam, Haryana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
The shift of sugar industry in south in recent decades is because of several better conditions prevailing there including:
- The tropical climate of Peninsular India results in higher yield per unit hectare of land.
- Higher sucrose content in peninsular cane.
- Long crushing season in south. In North India, it lasts from November to February (4 months); while in South it lasts from October to May or even June (nearly 8 months) .
- The mills in peninsular India are larger and have better capacity.
For best productivity, sugarcane needs tropical conditions such as long hours of sunshine, cool nights with clear skies. This is reason, that highest productivity in terms of sugar content is found in Maharashtra sugarcane. (210 Words)