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India becomes Chair of International Sugar Organisation (ISO) for 2024 to lead global sugar sector

London:24/11/23:In its 63rd council meeting, International Sugar Organisation (ISO), headquartered in London, has announced India to be the Chair of the organisation for 2024. This is a huge achievement for the country to lead the global sugar sector and a reflection of growing stature of the country in this domain. While attending the ISO Council Meeting, Shri Sanjeev Chopra, Secretary (Food), Government of India remarked that during its period of chairmanship of ISO in 2024, India seeks to support and cooperation from all member countries and would like to focus on bringing together all member countries to adopt more sustainable practices in sugarcane cultivation, sugar, and ethanol production and better utilisation of by-products.

India has been the largest consumer and second-largest producer of sugar in the world. With about 15% share in global sugar consumption and about 20% production of sugar, Indian sugar trends affect the global markets profusely. This leading position makes India the most suitable nation to lead International Sugar Organisation (ISO) which is the apex international body on sugar and related products having about 90 countries as members.

With Brazil in the Western Hemisphere, India is the market leader in the Eastern Hemisphere for sugar market. Now, being the 3rd largest country in the world in ethanol production after USA and Brazil, India has shown commitment towards green energy and its capability to twist the challenges of surplus sugar in domestic market to a solution for fossil fuels imports and a tool to meet COP 26 targets for India. It is remarkable that ethanol blending percentage in India has increased from 5% in 2019-20 to 12% in 2022-23 while the production has increased from 173 crore liters to more than 500 crore liters during the same period.

The Indian sugar industry has come a long way in modernization and expansion as well as in diversification to exploit of potential of its by-products to generate additional revenue streams to make the whole business model both sustainable and profitable. It has proven its robustness during Covid pandemic by operating its mills while the country was facing lockdown and rising to the occasion by producing hand sanitizers sufficient to meet the demand in the country.

India has a unique distinction of being the Payer of the Highest Cane Price to its farmers and still efficient enough to make profits and operate in a self-sufficient manner without any Government financial assistance. The synergy between the Government and sugar industry has made it possible to rejuvenate Indian sugar industry and transform it into a major player in green energy in the country. The era of pending cane dues of farmers has become a thing of the past. More than 98% of cane dues of last season 2022-23 have already been paid and more than 99.9% of cane dues from previous seasons are clear. Thus, cane dues pendency is at an all-time low in India.

India has set an example by not only taking care of farmers and industry but also by putting consumers first. Domestic sugar retail prices are consistent and stable. While global prices are hiked by about 40% in one year, India has been able to contain sugar prices within a 5% increase from last year without putting an additional burden on the industry.

On technical side, National Sugar Institute, Kanpur has spread its wings and is collaborating with many countries including Indonesia, Nigeria, Egypt, Fiji, etc. to share the latest technologies in the sector and best practices.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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