Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Month of June 2013 launched a Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI) to improve productivity of water, land and labour.
The decision to launch Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI) was taken in light of successful implementation System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in various parts of the country.
Tamil Nadu Government, with 42 sugar mills in the State, has targeted to add 50000 acre annually in the 12th plan under SSI.
Benefits of the Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI)
• The SSI is supposed to improve the productivity of water, land and labour, all at the same time, while reducing the overall pressure on water resources,
• The SSI method involves use of less seeds, less water and optimum utilisation of fertilisers and land which directly aims at achieving more yield.
• Now the farmer will be able to take a production of 90 tonnes of millable canes by adopting SSI method using 12500 single budded chips as against the 40 tonnes of sugarcane production from one acre land using 75000 two budded sets in conventional method.
• SSI is an appropriate option to solve the present problems of increasing seed cost, labour cost and other soil fertility and productivity related issues and there will be 0.2 per cent increase in the recovery from the cane, from the present 8.5 to 11 per cent.
• SSI is an advantage to farmers and to sugar industry, since the area was expected to shrink and availability of water would be less in the long run and moreover, the system was suitable for inter-crops like blackgram, greengram and also chilli.
It is important here to note that, India ranks second in the World after Brazil in terms of area of 4.1 million hectare and 355 million tonnes of sugarcane production. To its astonishment Tamil Nadu produced 357 lakh tonnes of sugarcane and 25.40 lakh tonnes of sugar from an area of 3.05 lakh hectare.