Whatsapp vigil on UP sugarcane officials

In the ongoing sugarcane survey for the next 2016-17 crushing season, the Uttar Pradesh cane department is employing the social media platform of ‘Whatsapp’ to authenticate the field visits of its officials.

The cane department inspectors have been not only been allocated targets for field testing and inspections, but have also been asked to upload spot information and pictures to their superiors over Whatsapp.

Dedicated Whatsapp groups have been formed for the nine additional cane commissioners and 44 district cane officers, which are connected with the department officials at the state headquarters.

UP cane commissioner Vipin Kumar Dwivedi has ordered for withholding the day’s salary if the field survey official is found absent.

Sugarcane survey helps in ascertaining the cropped area in UP. The data is used in estimating the aggregate cane production in the different regions, which in turn aids the department in allocating cane area to sugar mills.

The instant and accurate availability of spot information and pictures over Whatsapp is aimed at relay of information to all concerned officials and collective learning.

The department is employing the Global Positioning System (GPS) technology for estimating the sugarcane acreage for 2016-17.

GPS is a satellite-based navigation, wherein GPS satellites circle earth in precise orbit and transmit signals. With the help of technology tools, one could determine the exact position of an object and display it on an electronic map for analysis. It could also be used for ascertaining cropped area.

As per last year’s estimates by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), the cane area in UP during 2015-16 was about 2.30 million hectares (MH), which was almost flat compared to previous year. The government is attempting at increasing cane yield to 70 tonnes per hectare from the current level of about 65 tonnes to maximise farmers’ income.

During the current year, UP sugar mills had produced about 6.9 million tonnes (MT) of sugar compared to 7.04 MT in 2014-15. The state sugar mills had clocked better sugar recovery of about 10.50 percent this year.

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