The Bitter Taste of India’s Sugar Woes
by Joelle Brink (Biofuels Digest-Asia) India’s recent flip-flops on sugar supply and exports have angered many in the sensitive global commodities markets and even been ascribed to a sort of national dementia. But as is often the case in business, their cause is the stepping down of a senior and highly respected leader, in this case food minister Sharad Pawar, and his replacement by one who is new to the job, MK Antony.
Pawar’s accomplishments in office were by any standard formidable. Regarded by the sugar industry as the only politician in the country who thoroughly understood sugar, he nearly doubled domestic output, gave ethanol blending with petrol and power generation from bagasse a much-needed boost, negotiated a fair and remunerative price for cane that was set into policy by the Centre, and his tenure also saw the first-ever acquisition of a foreign sugar company by an Indian company when Shree Renuka Sugars acquired two companies in Brazil in 2009-10. As the saying goes, it’s a hard act to follow. READ MORE and MORE