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India to Chair the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) in 2024
Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

India to Chair the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) in 2024

| @indiablooms | 25 Nov 2023, 12:05 am

New Delhi: India will be the Chair of the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) for the year 2024, the London-headquartered organization announced during its 63rd council meeting.

While attending the ISO Council Meeting, Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said, “During its period of chairmanship of ISO in 2024, India seeks support and cooperation from all member countries and would like to focus on bringing together all member countries to adopt more sustainable practices in sugarcane cultivation, sugar and ethanol production and better utilization of by-products.”

India is 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 affect the global markets profusely.

The International Sugar Organisation (ISO)  is the apex international body on sugar and related products with about 90 countries as members.

With Brazil in the Western Hemisphere, India is the market leader in the Eastern Hemisphere for the sugar market.

"Now, being the 3rd largest country in the world in ethanol production after the USA and Brazil, India has shown commitment towards green energy and its capability to twist the challenges of surplus sugar in the domestic market to the solution of fossil fuels imports and a tool to meet COP 26 targets for India," the Food Ministry said in a statement.

It is remarkable that the ethanol blending percentage in India has increased from 5% in 2019-20 to 12% in 2022-23 while the production has increased from 173 crore litres to more than 500 crore litres during the same period, it said.

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

It proved its robustness during the COVID-19 pandemic by operating its mills while the country was facing lockdown and rising to the occasion by producing hand sanitizers sufficient to meet the demand in the country.

According to the Food Ministry, India has the unique distinction of being the Payer of the Highest Cane Price to its farmers and still efficient enough to make profits and operate in a self-sufficient manner without any Government financial assistance.

“The era of pending cane dues of farmers has become a thing of the past. More than 98% of cane dues of last season 2022-23 have already been paid and more than 99.9% of cane dues of previous seasons are clear. Thus, cane dues pendency is at an all-time low in India,” it added.

India has set an example by not only taking care of farmers and industry but also by putting consumers first. Domestic sugar retail prices are consistent and stable.

While the global prices are hiked by about 40% in one year, India has been able to contain sugar prices within a 5% increase from last year without putting an additional burden on the industry, the Food Ministry said.

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