INDIA – India, the largest consumer and second largest producer of sugar in the world, was recently announced Chair of International Sugar Organisation (ISO) for 2024, giving the Asian country the driving seat in the global sugar sector. 

The announcement marked a huge achievement for the country, serving as a reflection of growing stature of India at the apex international body on sugar and relating products having about 90 countries as members. 

While attending the ISO Council Meeting, Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra sought support and cooperation from all member countries during its period of chairmanship of ISO in 2024. 

“The focus would be on bringing together all member countries to adopt more sustainable practices in sugarcane cultivation, sugar and ethanol production and better utilisation of by-products,” he said. 

According to a press release by the ministry of consumer affairs, food & distribution, 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 affects the global markets profusely. 

India’s role as a market leader in the Eastern Hemisphere complements Brazil’s influence in the Western Hemisphere, playing a pivotal role in shaping the global 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 solution of fossil fuels imports and a tool to meet COP 26 targets for India.  

Indian sugar industry has come a long way in modernisation and expansion as well as in diversification to exploitation of potential of its by-products to generate additional revenue streams to make the whole business model both sustainable and profitable. 

Synergy between Government and sugar industry has made it possible to rejuvenate Indian sugar industry and to transform into a major player in green energy in the country.  

According to the press release, the era of pending cane dues of farmers has become a thing of past. More than 98% cane dues of last season 2022-23 have already been paid and more than 99.9% cane dues of previous seasons are clear. 

Another noteworthy highlight is that while the global prices are hiked by about 40% in one year, India has been able to contain sugar prices within 5% increase from last year without putting additional burden on the industry.