Bhubaneswar: Production of sugar is not commercially viable in Odisha and it has to depend on other states to meet its annual requirement, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain said in the Assembly Wednesday.
The state requires 2.21 lakh tonne of sugar annually and only two of the eight sugar mills are operational in the state, the minister said replying to questions in the Assembly. The state has incurred huge loss as sugar prices have fallen below production cost, Swain said.
“While production of one kilogram of sugar costs between Rs 47 and Rs 48, the selling price in the open market is Rs 32. This is not only confined to Odisha but has become a global issue,” he said.
On the possibility of reviving the six defunct sugar mills, the minister said, the state government had taken steps in this regard and engaged a private agency to carry out a detailed survey of the sick mills. Two sugar mills set up at Badamba in Cuttack and another at Nayagarh have been sold to private entities, he said.
Replying to a question of Bargarh MLA Debesh Acharya, the minister said, “It is difficult to revive the sugar plant at Bargarh because it is quite old. This apart, farmers of Bargarh are interested in cultivating paddy instead of sugarcane.”