43 million ton sugarcane production target fixed in Punjab

MULTAN: The agriculture department has set the sugarcane sowing target of 1.853 million acres in Punjab with hopes of achieving 43 million ton production at the rate of average per acre yield of 621.85 Maunds per acre.

Eighty seven (87) sugar mills were producing crystalline white sugar in the country and 46 of them were operational in Punjab with a crushing capacity of 336,300 ton sugarcane per day, says a press release issued by media liaison unit of Punjab agriculture department on Thursday.

In a meeting with progressive growers, agriculture spokesman Naveed Asmat Kahlon said that our average per acre production of sugarcane was almost half of the production potential of our approved and registered varieties.

He expressed the need for increasing average per acre yield of sugarcane and to bring it at par with the yield being obtained by progressive growers.

He advised farmers to sow high yielding approved varieties including CP-77-400 that has a capacity to give 1300 Maunds per acre, SPF-234 (1450 Maunds), HSF-242 (1500 Maunds), CPF-247 and CPF-248 are also new high yielding varieties. He said that CPF-248 possesses the highest sugar content of 12.71 per cent among all the varieties in Pakistan.

Kahlon said that progressive growers were getting 1000 Maunds per acre production while average per acre yield was around 621 Maunds adding that significant increase in sugarcane production can be achieved provided this production gap is bridged.

He said that improper land preparation was among the factors behind low average production. He suggested that land should be levelled after deep ploughing to get good results.

He said that farmers can increase their production by 29 percent provided they employ modern agronomic practices.

He warned that sowing of unapproved varieties gives reduced production and weeds slash the production by 25 per cent.

He said that Ayub Agriculture Research Centre (AARI) has developed a modern irrigation technique that saves water and balanced application of fertilizers gives higher yield.