Food minister Ram Vilas Paswan plans to seek an increase in import duty on sugar to 40% in a bid to boost domestic sales and support farmers who are yet to be paid for cane sold to mills.
"We are looking at various measures to resolve farmers and millers issue and will talk to finance minister," Paswan said after a two-hour meeting with farmer leaders from 12 sugarcane-growing states on Wednesday. Transport minister Nitin Gadkari and minister of state for agriculture Sanjeev Balyan also attended.
Paswan said he would write to finance minister Arun Jaitley, pressing for an increase in import duty on sugar, which is currently 25%. The minister has convened a meeting with state chief ministers on April 16 to discuss the issue of rising arrears payable to farmers.
The amount owed by sugar mills to farmers has risen to Rs 19,243 crore, with Uttar Pradesh accounting for the bulk of the arrears, Paswan said on April 8.
Higher duty would restrict sugar imports and ensure that domestic sales pick up, said ministry officials. However, the industry says the government should create a strategic stockpile of sugar immediately.
"We want the government to create a buffer stock of sugar of 2.5 million tonnes, just like China has done. This will ensure that farmers get prices and it gives the industry the liquidity to pay farmers," said A Vellayan, president of the Indian Sugar Mills Association.
Sugar production in the country is expected to rise to 26.5 million tonnes in the 2014-15 season, from 24.4 million tonnes in the previous year. Demand is estimated at 22-23 million tonnes.
Weak sugar prices have hurt the ability of mills to pay farmers for cane at rates set by state governments. A decline in global prices has made sugar exports uncompetitive, the industry said. Currently, very little sugar is imported, it said.
Farmer leader VM Singh, convenor of the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, said the Centre had to play a more proactive role.
"Four mills in Uttar Pradesh -- Malakpur, Modinagar, Titawi and Mawana -- have yet to pay cane dues to farmers from 2013-14. The Centre can take action against mills, apart from procuring sugar to stabilise prices," he said.
Uttar Pradesh tops the list of states with sugarcane arrears at Rs 9,715.69 crore, followed by Maharashtra at Rs 2,864 crore and Karnataka at Rs 2,402.39 crore.
With the harvest festival of Pongal fast approaching, sugarcane farmers in Madurai district are busy making jaggery (vellam). Farmers are hopeful of getting better prices this season, though the expected jaggery output would be marginally better over last year's production.
"Unlike last year, we are now getting reasonable price for jaggery. It is sold at rate 20% higher than last year as the supply is not enough. Usually, we get higher price for better quality. However, due to poor juice content in the cane due to inadequate rain, high-quality stuff is meagre," said M Alagar, a sugarcane farmer of Kottaimedu near Alanganallur.
Last year, jaggery was procured at Rs 280 and Rs 300. This year Rs 50 to Rs 70 more is paid over last year's rate. Farmers hope the price would further go up when Pongal is close. Jaggery makers at Alanganallur, Kottanathampatti, Karumathur and Thirumangalam are busy coagulating sugarcane juice into 10-feet-wide pans. These places are famous for jaggery production in the region.
As sugarcane production is facing odds, jaggery market is not expecting large arrivals this year too. "The area of sugarcane cultivation around Alanganallur shrunk considerably due to poor prices last year. Though, I cultivated cane in 10 acres last year, I reduced it by half this year. Similarly, several farmers, especially those who have wells, have reduced area under sugarcane cultivation and have opted for paddy. This seems a sound move as paddy has been getting good prices recently," Alagar added.
Though, sugarcane farmers are happy with the latest procurement price for cane, a few have demanded more. "We would happier if the price is anything close to Rs 400," said Natarajan, another farmer.
Already, skilled jaggery makers from Udumalaipettai and its surrounding areas have arrived in Madurai looking for work at cane-processing centres. Farmers are eager to maximise their production before the festival to avail of the current prices, said V Kannan, a sugarcane farmer from Valasai.
Meanwhile, the recent release of water from Vaigai dam has come as a boost for sugarcane farmers. They expect the juice content in cane to go up.
Farmers demand more price, compensation
Sugarcane farmers from Madurai district staged a demonstration in front of the Alanganallur National Cooperative Sugar Mills on Friday against the state government's decision to reduce Rs 100 from the state approved price (SAP).
SAP, which had been Rs 700 till last year, was reduced to Rs 600, the farmers alleged. When the central government has hiked fare and remunerative price (FRP) by Rs 400, the reduction of SAP amount has come in as a shock to the farmers. "At present, we are getting only Rs 2,650 per tonne, though without Rs 100 reduction we should have been getting Rs 2,750," said N Palanisamy, state president of Tamil Nadu Sugarcane Farmers Association.
While the Uttar Pradesh government is providing Rs 3,200 per tonne of sugarcane, what Tamil Nadu farmers is paid is far less. We too want Rs 3,200 per tonne, Palanisamy said.
Out of a total cultivated area of 9,000 acres under sugarcane cultivation, a whopping 5,000 acres were damaged due to poor rain this year. He also emphasised Rs 25, 000 per acre should be provided as compensation for the damaged crops.
A protest is planned in front of all surgarcane mills on January 7 to voice our demands, he said.
The Rs 300-crore jaggery business in Kolhapur and Sangli districts is going to have a state recognized board, which will function as a common platform for technology sharing, state agriculture and marketing minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil announced in Pune on Thursday.
He said it will be called Jaggery Board comprising representatives of the state government and jaggery producing farmers' groups. The state government has already taken steps to decontrol the marketing of the produce from the state monitored wholesale markets, which enables setting up of private markets even by farmers.
Vikhe-Patil said similar product-oriented boards have already been set up for alphonso mango and cashews, which are heavily priced and attract good revenue.
The primary-level infrastructure is being prepared at Kolhapur for setting up the board. The existing marketing agencies of jaggery such as Kolhapur Agriculture Produce Market Committee would be consulted for the same.
Jaggery is made from sugarcane juice. It has a peculiar sweet taste and is sold in the form of solid cakes. It also has medicinal as well as nutritional values.
The board, which would comprise representatives of farmers and traders and a couple of officials of the state government, will provide information on the government's decisions and conduct training programmes whenever needed. Kolhapur jaggery is also exported to some west Asian countries, where Indian population is significant. Jaggery is in demand in metro cities as well. The board will be helpful for the farmers for exploring new markets and modern techniques of marketing and distribution, Vikhe-Patil said.
He added that similar boards are being set up for orange, sweet lime, vegetables and fruits.
India's bakery industry - estimated to be worth $4.7 billion in 2010 and expected to touch the $7.6 billion-mark by 2015, according to a report - is highly fragmented. The report added that it was the third-highest revenue-earner among the processed food industry, and biscuits contributed most significantly to the sector's growth.
While the organised bakery segment is one of the largest segments in the country's processed food industry in India, there is a segment of it which is unorganised. But its growth, in both the rural and urban markets, has been promising.
Moreover, when compared to the global baked goods market (which dipped during the meltdown and has been on the road to steady recovery), the Indian baked goods market has been recession-proof and grown significantly over the past few years.
“The factors fuelling market expansion in developing countries include convenience, affordability and the health benefits of baked goods. The demand for fortified baked products has also driven sales,” S Siddiqui, industry analyst, said.
The word revolution has proved a boon to the Indian food industry. Since the advent of the Green, White, Yellow and Rainbow Revolutions, the country has become self-sufficient in the production of foodgrains, milk, pulses and fish, respectively.
Dhananjay Phaste, head of department, economics, G R Patil Group of Colleges, Mumbai, said, “The food processing industry is a sunrise industry in India. The country has the potential to become the world's food basket, but a Brown revolution – for the bakery and biscuit industry – is needed.”
“India’s food processing industry could bring our nation out of the ongoing crisis (characterised by rising inflation). All we need to do is ensure the optimum utilisation of the food we produce,” Phaste added.
Commenting on these crises, Arindam Chaudhuri, director, Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM), and author, said, “More than half our population is engaged in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, but our output is lower than those of other developing nations. We must pay attention to bringing maximum output from the manufacturing sector.”
According to report by Research and Markets, the present per capita consumption of bakery products is 1 or 2kg per annum. In the advanced countries, it ranges between 10 and 50kg per annum.
“The food processing ministry, and its array of departments, must bring to light the issues faced by the unorganised industry. On the one hand, it may be premature to expect a Brown Revolution, but on the other, it would not be incorrect to state that India is one of the fastest-growing among the developing countries and its rapidly-changing eating habits India could drive the demand for bakery and allied products,” said Siddiqui.
Old markets, new products
The baked goods industry, encompassing such products as bread, cereals, cakes, biscuits, pastries and scones, is well established in the industrialised nations of Europe and the United States. Product innovation, healthier products and ingredients are driving the sector's growth in these countries.
India is the ninth-largest economy in terms of nominal rate and the third-largest in terms of purchasing power parity. It also has formal diplomatic relations with most nations, and its neighbouring countries in particular. The growing international influence gives the country a prominent voice in global trade and commerce.
Jamaal Khan, who imports food and beverage chemicals and machinery from China and re-exports them, said, “Bakery products are short-lived in nature. The current infrastructural status of our country does not support us to export our bakery produce like cakes, muffins and bread to the West. The best way to start bakery export would be focussing South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) markets.”
“India’s organised bakery players can enhance their business by foraying into its neighbouring nations. If we observe market trends like the per capita consumption and standard of living of countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh, we would find that these markets have a plethora of opportunities for our bakery, biscuits and other processed food items,” Khan added.
However, SAARC nations face such problems as the lack of skilled manpower, unorganised nature of market, and power shortage, as is the case in India.
The eighth edition of Dairy Universe India: International Exhibition on Dairy Processing, Packaging & Distribution Technology, Equipment & Supplies and Sweet & SnackTec India: International Exhibition on Sweet & Snack Processing and Packaging Technology, Equipment & Supplies are scheduled to be organised concurrent to each other from December 10 to 12, 2013, at Gujarat University Convention and Exhibition Centre, Ahmedabad.
According to a press release issued by the organisers, over the years, both the exhibitions have become one of the most important platforms for suppliers to the dairy, sweet, snack and confectionery manufacturing industry to showcase their latest technological offerings to ‘who is who’ of the respective sectors.
Gujarat being one of the major manufacturing hub for sweet and snacks manufacturing, pioneer in operating dairy cooperatives and sweet and snacks culturally being a significant part of the food habits of the people of Gujarat makes it a perfect place to host these trade fairs, as per an organiser.
Over 150 companies are expected to showcase latest technological offerings for the dairy, sweet, snack and confectionery industry. Other key points include - Exhibitor participation from around 16 countries; ?Live demonstration of machines and equipments; and ?Concurrent seminars on focussed topics.
A two-day seminar on December 10 and 11, 2013, with the theme “Quality Initiatives in Dairy Value Chain (from Producer to Consumer)” will be organised by Indian Dairy Association - Gujarat State Chapter and Mansinhbhai Institute of Dairy & Food Technology in association with Koelnmesse YA Tradefair Pvt. Ltd.
A one-day seminar on December 11, 2013, with the theme “Emerging Global Trends in Ice Cream Industry” is being organised jointly by Indian Ice Cream Manufacturers Association (IICMA) and Koelnmesse YA Tradefair Pvt. Ltd.
In the past, the bakery industry was associated mainly with bread, and also with biscuits and cakes, but now it is a rapidly-changing industry. The onus on modern-day bakeries is not only to provide the traditional products, but also new ones such as rolls, pastries, rusk, buns, doughnuts, pizza bases, cupcakes, bar cakes, etc. keeping in mind aspects such as hygiene, health (nutrient-rich products has become the buzzword) and presentation (improved packaging, taste and appeal).
The growing popularity of the products and the industrialisation of the global bakery market have both been attributed to the emergence of a sizeable middle-class population with huge disposable incomes, changing lifestyles and changing eating habits. To cater to the demand for hygienic bakery products, a number of private labels have entered the fray with concepts like live bakery. Several global players have entered the Indian market, with plans to start 20-25 outlets on an average in the first one or two years and expand to 80-120 outlets over the next 5-8 years in various locations across the country.
The per capita consumption of bakery products in India stands around 2kg per annum. In the advanced countries, it is about 40-50 kg per annum. Looking the prevalent trend in the Indian bakery segment, the growth rate of bakery products has been tremendous both in the rural and the urban areas, and that is being seen as an advantage. The sector has indicated promising growth prospects and has been making rapid progress.
However, the bakery industry continues to face a few challenges. The two major categories, namely bread and biscuits, account for almost 82 per cent of the total bakery products. The organised biscuit industry in India, comprising large-, medium- and small-scale manufacturers account for about 60 per cent of the total production, and the remaining 40 per cent is contributed by the unorganised sector, which comprises small bakery units, cottage industry and households.
Bakers also face a few challenges, such as
• Government regulations;
• Demand supply chain;
• Rising prices of flour (maida), the major ingredient, and other raw materials such as oil, fat, eggs, etc., and
• The price-sensitivity of the market
To overcome the challenge of rising production costs, many national and international companies have come forward with the solutions to reduce the production cost by offering on-site trial demos which would reduce the percentage of gluten, fat, eggs, oil, etc. used in the recipe. Apart from this it will also help to improve the nutritional value of the end-product by reducing the usage of harmful chemicals and improved appeal. The bakery industry will witness more innovative ideas and concepts and is expected to grow with the growing awareness and a booming economic environment.
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At Zytex, we take into account the problems faced at every stage in the manufacturing of baked products. We are committed to give better quality and consistency in our product range to our customers.
Over the years, Zytex has been supporting to improve manufacturers and bakeries with concentrate blends of enzymes to suits every need of bakers and are specially designed to
New Application for laminated dough – PuffUp
Zytex has introduced a fat-reduction application for laminated bakery products. Now one can satisfy consumer hunger for healthier products and your desire to run a healthy business.
Apart from this, PuffUp helps to enhance the colour and delay staling, will also improve the extensibility of dough, especially during the final sheeting of dough to help prevent shrinkage.
The addition of PuffUp creates great laminated dough and adds to the required strength for the laminated dough, as improper strength balance can also affect the quality of the final product.
Adding the new solution compensates for the volume loss observed with 15–20 per cent less fat. PuffUp shows a significant increase in specific volume of khari, puffs, etc., compared to the control when the recipe’s fat percentage is constant.
The following are the benefits of PuffUp, an application which will help bakers save on the production cost and increase their profitability: