Wonder Variety of Sugarcane Co 0238 continues to swing its wand

The Co 0238 - Sugarcane variety, a progeny of the cross CoLk 8102 x Co 775 evolved at ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Regional Centre, Karnal, is an early maturing variety released and notified during 2009. The variety was recommended for Uttar Pradesh during 2012-13. The variety, being a rare combination of two major negatively correlated characters, that is, cane yield and sugar recovery, has been benefiting both farmers and sugar industry. As a result the area under this variety expanded at a faster rate throughout the subtropical India. The gain in area was maximum in Uttar Pradesh, the largest sugarcane producing state in India (Table - 1). With the increase in area under Co 0238 in the U.P., the average cane productivity increased from 61.6 t/ha during 2012-13 to 80.5 t/ha during 2018-19. Similarly, the sugar recovery improved from 9.18 per cent to 11.46 per cent in corresponding years. In other words, there have been a phenomenon increase in the cane yield (18.9 t/ha) and the sugar recovery percent (2.28 units).

Wonder Variety of Sugarcane Co 0238 continues to swing its wand

Table 1. Impact of Co 0238 on productivity and sugar recovery in UP

Parameter

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

Area in UP (in lakh ha)

24.24

23.60

21.32

20.52

20.54

22.99

27.94

Area under Co 0238 (in lakh ha)

Not available

0.73 (3.1)

1.77 (8.3)

4.02 (19.6)

7.29 (35.5)

12.08 (52.5)

19.28 (69.0)

Cane yield (t/ha)

61.6

62.7

65.1

66.5

72.4

79.2

80.5

Sugar recovery (%)

9.18

9.25

9.54

10.61

10.61

10.84

11.46

*Figures in parenthesis indicate values in percentage

Wonder Variety of Sugarcane Co 0238 continues to swing its wandThe economic impact analysis revealed a gross value of Rs. 120.8 thousand crores during 2014-15 to 2017-18 accounting to Rs. 30,192 crores per year. The total additional benefit from sugar and by-products during the period was Rs. 28,795 Crores or Rs. 7,199 Crores per year. Due to the phenomenal performance of Co 0238, UP became the number one state in terms of sugarcane and sugar production in the country. Co 0238 has greatly contributed towards achieving the highest ever sugar production (33.2 million tonnes) in the country during 2018-19, that in turn led to a Governments’ Policy decision on permitting direct conversion of sugarcane juice and B – Heavy molasses into ethanol (Annon., 2018).

Co 0238 was in cultivation on an area of 25.88 lakh hectares in Punjab, Haryana, UP, Uttarakhand and Bihar, which is 79.2% of the sugarcane area in these 5 states during 2019-20 season. At all India level the percentage of area covered by Co 0238 is 53.2%, perhaps the highest percentage covered by a single variety. Apart from 5 subtropical states, Co 0238 is also covering a sizable area in Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.

As per the report entitled “Chini Utpadan me purane sabhi record tute” published in Amar Ujala Newspaper (Meerut Edition) on 4th April, 2020, Co 0238 has resulted in record cane productivity (80q/big ha or 400q/acre) and sugar recovery above 12 %. According to Dr. R.D. Diwedi, District Cane Officer, Muzaffarnagar, the average sugar recovery on 4th  April, 2020 was 11.59% as against 11.33% recorded last year on the same day. The three sugar mills (Khaikheri -13.83%, Tikaula - 13.35% and Khatauli - 13.11%) in the district have recorded more than 13% sugar recovery, whereas, rest 5 sugar mills recorded above 12%.

The increase in both sugar recovery and cane yield has led to tremendous increase in sugar production by each mill in Uttar Pradesh.

(Source: ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu)