Despite record-high global sugar prices, India ensures the cheapest sugar to its people
In its 63rd council meeting, the International Sugar Organisation (ISO), headquartered in London, has announced India to be the Chair of the organisation for 2024. This is a huge achievement for the country to lead the global sugar sector and a reflection of the growing stature of the country in this domain. While attending the ISO Council Meeting, Sanjeev Chopra, Secretary (Food), Government of India remarked that 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 utilisation of by-products.
India has been the largest consumer and second-largest producer of sugar in the world. With about 15 per cent share in global sugar consumption and about 20 per cent production of sugar, Indian sugar trends affect the global markets profusely. This leading position makes India the most suitable nation to lead the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) which is the apex international body on sugar and related products having 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. It is remarkable that the ethanol blending percentage in India has increased from 5 per cent in 2019-20 to 12 per cent in 2022-23 while the production has increased from 173 crore litres to more than 500 crore litres during the same period.