July 23, 2018
Image credit : Illustrative image
Coimbatore : There is an urgent need to grow high quality varieties to improve sugar recovery in mills and improve cane yields in the State, Director of Sugar in the Government of Tamil Nadu Anu George said today. Launching the project on ‘varietal testing in public /co-operative sector sugar mills of Tamil Nadu’, in ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute here, she said.
While States in North and Central India had seen improved cane production and recovery, Tamil Nadu had been lagging behind in terms of production and recovery.
A preliminary assessment among the public/co-operative sector sugar mills in the State had found that over 60 different cane varieties were being grown, of which over 95 per cent were unworthy of cultivation.
These varieties had to be phased out by introducing improved varieties in the State, besides rejuvenating the ruling variety, Co 86032 and this project would be a launching pad toward fulfilling this objective, Anu George said.
Appreciating the role of the institute in taking up research trials in factory areas, she urged the institute to fulfill the requests in distribution of quality seed material and tissue culture seedlings from the sugar mills of the co-operative sector.
Institute Director Dr Bakshi Ram said the project was aimed at identifying location-specific varieties combining yield and quality suitable to farmers and cane industry. The mean sugar recovery which stands at 8-9 per cent in the State could be enhanced to 10 per cent by replacing the old, degenerated varieties with these improved location-specific varieties.
Conscious efforts by ICAR-SBI, in the recent past, towards improving the juice quality of sugarcane clones have resulted in identification of a large number of clones with better sucrose content at different crop ages. The varietal trials in the identified factory locations would be for four years, where 21 such clones would be tested, Bakshi Ram said.