To increase the yield by minimising the cultivation period, the state government has decided to introduce new sugarcane variants that are also drought-resistant.
Sugarcane is the second most important industrial crop in Tamil Nadu and is the sole raw material for sugar industry. The average sugarcane productivity in the state continues to be around 100 metric tonnes per hectare and sugarcane was cultivated at 1.65 lakh hectares in the state in 2018-19.
Some of the prominent sugarcane crops cultivated in Tamil Nadu are Co 86032, CoV 09356, CoV 94101, Cov 92102, PI 1110 and Co 0212. To make sugarcane cultivation more remunerative, the state government is following several techniques such as introduction of new variants and advising farmers to go for new cultivation practices.
Officials also said that the Sugarcane Breeding Institute and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University are involved in the process of developing new sugarcane varieties and clones that are superior or comparable to the existing varieties. One such variety that is dominating in the fields is Co 86032 and the government is already in the process of finding alternatives.
“Co 0212 and Co 09004 which are proven to be drought tolerant and high sugar recovery and high yielding variety were distributed to the sugar mills and sugarcane farmers by the sugarcane breeding institute and agriculture university”, said officials.
The officials said Co 11015 is a newly-developed variant and the highlight of the variant is its reduced cropping season. “Usually, it takes 12 months for the yield but C0 11015 has the yield period of just 8 months, thereby, reducing the yield period by 33 percentage. In the eight months period the sugar recovery and yield is also high”, said the officials.
The release of the new variant is approved in principle by the State variety release committee and in 2018-19, the crop was planted in 189 hectares for seed multiplication. To motivate the farmers and to cover more area under new varieties government has proposed to extend the 50 per cent subsidy of Rs 12,500 per hectare, the officials said.
Usually, it takes 12 months for the yield, but C0 11015 has the yield period of just 8 months, thereby, reducing the yield period by 33 percentage