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Brain storming seminar on harnessing energy feed stocks

Professionals of Sugarcane and Sugar Industry discussed issues for sustainable development of sugar industry with use of crop resources as energy stocks. Occasion was the Brain Storming seminar on Harnessing energy feed stocks for sustainability of sugar industry in sub-tropical India. Sugar industry in our country are running into big losses due to lower domestic prices of sugar in comparision to international market. Worst affected by it are sugarcane farmers due to non-payment of cane price. A key solution for management of this crisis is income generation from producing ethanol from energy feed stocks like Sugarcane, Sugarbeet, Sweet Sorghum, Cellulosis material, etc. The demand of ethanol is likely to increase on a large scale, as blending of ethanol in petrol will help reduce import of crude oil. The Government of India under its National Policy on Bio-fuels has set a target for 20% blending of ethanol with the automobile fuel by 2017. How to efficiently harness agricultural crops as energy feed stocks to improve economic condition of sugar mills was the theme of the seminar.

More than hundred dignitaries from Research Institutes, Sugar Industry, and government officials participated in the programme, which was held at Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow. Dr O K Sinha, Director of the institute welcomed the guests in the programme and talked about the economic losses sugar industry facing at the moment due to various domestic and international causes. He emphasized the use of sugarcane for producing ethanol as by-product to increase the profitability of the industry and sugarcane farmers. He also demonstrated the scenario of Sugarbeet production and its features as a viable source of ethanol production. Programme was inaugurated by Dr P K Seth, CEO Biotech Park, Lucknow who called upon stakeholders for effective utilization of resources and sustainability of sugar industry in general. He appreciated the efforts made by Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow and North Indian Sugarcane & Sugar Technologists’ Association for organization such brain storming session for sustainable development of sugar industry and increasing profitability of sugar industry and sugarcane farmers.

During inaugural session, Dr Ram Murthy Singh, President NISSTA talked about the pathetic situation of sugar industry in India and emphasized harnessing agricultural resources as energy feed stock for its sustainability. Three technical sessions were organized in the programme for ethanol production from energy feed stocks, breeding programmes for energy canes and energy intensive sugarcane-based cropping system. Dr Bakshi Ram, Director, Sugarcane Breeding Institute (SBI), Coimbatore gave lecture about diversification of sugarcane for production of ethanol. He discussed about breeding programmes of SBI for producing energy canes. Various agricultural resources for ethanol production and their feasibility was also discussed during the program. Dr Pushpa Singh, Principal Scientist gave a detailed information and advantages about bio-ethanol as source of energy and talked about various technologies for production of ethanol from agricultural resources. Programme ended with all around call by participants for an efficient utilization of Sugarcane, Sugarbeet and other such agricultural crops for harnessing as energy feed stocks for sustainable development of sugar industry and higher income of the farmers.