(Last Updated on : 14/03/2012)
Sugarcane is one of the major crops of India. This country is one of the significant producers of sugarcane in the world. Sugarcane is raised in almost every state of India. Over the years sugar has turned into a substantial ingredient of regular food intake. For daily sugar needs, people depend exclusively on sugarcane. India has the largest surface area under sugarcane and its production is also the highest in the world. Uttar Pradesh
is a leading producer, followed by Maharashtra
, Andhra Pradesh
, Tamil Nadu
In India, sugarcane is mainly raised as a cash crop and it forms the source of sugar. This crop is mainly sown during the period in between February and March. Sugarcane requires well-drained productive soil, and abundance of manure and fertilizers. It demands hot climate and grows well where temperature is near about 25 degree Celsius. It also needs hot and humid climate and rainfall of approximately 100 cm. It actually grows well in irrigated lands with plenty of sunshine. Loamy soils rich in minerals like calcium, phosphorous and nitrogen are necessary for larger yields. Further, dry and cool climate during the time period when the cane matures enhances its sucrose content.
The optimum conditions required for the growth and cultivation of cane are found mostly in southern region of India. But, the cane belt of India is basically situated in the Ganga Plain west of the longitude of Patna
and to the north of Yamuna River
. This particular belt is accounts for more than half of the total cane production in India. As this belt is not suitable for the production of other cash crops, sugarcane production came into the scenario. Different factors in India support the cultivation of cane like availability of extensive alluvial soils with irrigation facilities, discovery of relatively high yielding cane varieties and need for raising a cash crop, etc.
The dry scorching winds and high temperature of the months of May and June check the normal growth of cane. In winter months, the growth of sugarcane is hampered badly because of excessively cold weather conditions. The temperature during the winter months seldom falls considerably and growth of cane practically stops. However, at that time, the cultivation of sugarcane is confined to the southern region of India through the mode of irrigation.