Yogi govt moots 'sugar tourism' with trips to mills and ethanol plants

The Yogi Adityanath government has mooted ‘sugar tourism’ to unlock the economic potential in the cane growing areas of Uttar Pradesh, the country’s top producer of the crop.

Under the proposal, the sugarcane department, in collaboration with the tourism department, would conduct knowledge and educational tours in modern sugar and ethanol plants in the state.

UP principal secretary excise Sanjay Bhoosreddy, who is also the cane commissioner, has constituted a seven-member committee to study the proposal and offer recommendations within a month on the action plan, selected sugar complexes, mode of travel and coordination with the tourism department.

The committee, headed by UP cooperative sugar mills federation managing director Vimal Kumar Dubey, also has sugar sector experts and scientists, apart from representatives of the tourism and sugarcane department, and UP Sugar Mills Association (UPSMA).

“The idea is to foster tourism and ‘industrial tourism’ in the state sugarcane growing areas. We have already identified nearly a dozen modern sugar plants, which are deemed ideal for such ‘sugar tourism’,” Bhoosreddy told Business Standard in Lucknow today.

He said both private and government sector mills would be considered for ‘sugar tourism’ if they meet the basic criteria of having modern sugar complexes, good road connectivity and vicinity from highways.

The state government is confident the proposal would materialise in the coming 2019-20 crushing season.

Bhoosreddy said a large number of people are curious to know about and see the entire process of cane crushing and production of sugar and ethanol. “Currently, we organise such knowledge tours on individual basis. However, with ‘sugar tourism’, the government is looking to make it more organised and institutional in nature.”

Last year, 119 mills, including 94 private sector units, had participated in cane crushing, apart from 24 Federation and one UP State Sugar Corporation Limited (UPSSCL) factory. However, the government is sanguine that at least 121 mills will operate this season, with two federation mills at Gorakhpur and Basti district gearing up for their maiden runs.

In 2018-19 season, the UP sugar output stood at 11.8 million tonnes (MT) compared to 12 MT in 2017-18.

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