(Valor Econômico)- Despite the increased fleet of trucks used in Indian agriculture, the traditional carts laden with sugarcane drawn by oxen and buffaloes are still common in the landscape of rural India.

The deal also reflects the rudimentary agricultural performance of sugarcane in the country. The amount of sugar cane is produced in an average of 5 tons per hectare in the northern region, the poorest in India. In the southern portion, this indicator improved to 9 tons per hectare in Maharashtra state, but still a far cry from 14 tonnes achieved in Brazil last season (2010/11).

With over 50 million sugarcane suppliers, depending on the year, the mills of India are obliged to organize a peculiar system to discipline the supply of raw material from so many different sources.

In a single plant, such as Belgaum, the Shree Renuka Sugars, for example, has 13,500 small suppliers. They relate to 15 coordinators who visit each of the areas – which are within 40 km – and need to check for seeds or fertilizer. These coordinators also have a core mission of attracting those producers to ensure that they continue producing sugar cane.

In plants, even automated ones, population density repeats what one sees around the country. The companies employ a lot more people than in Brazil, for example.

In the unity of Shree Renuka Sugars of Belgaum, which has the capacity to mill approximately 1.3 million tons of sugarcane, 400 people are employed, the same number of a grinding plant in Brazil with up to 6 million tons. Instead, the labor costs in Brazil are equivalent to twice of those in India.


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