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National Seminar on Mechanization of Sugarcane Harvesting

A national Seminar on Mechanization of Sugarcane Harvesting jointly organized by IISR, Lucknow and Sugar Technologists Association of India, New Delhi was held at IISR on April 27, 2012. The seminar was inaugurated by Mr. N. C. Bajpai, Dyputy Chairman, Planning Commission, UP Govt. Mr. Bajpai in his inaugural address remarked that State Govt. is ready to extend financial and policy decision support for developing viable and feasible solution of mechanized sugarcane harvesting in the UP. He appealed IISR Scientists and delegates from R & D institutions to come out with a sound actionable plan to develop cost effective mechanical sugarcane harvester in near future. He also remarked that any intervention in sugarcane should not disturb ecological balance. He equally emphasized the fast and timely assistance to sugarcane farmers in terms of innovative production technologies, cane harvesting, and transportation & marketing of harvested cane to sugar mills.

Dr. G. B. Singh, Ex.-DG, UPCAR and Ex. DDG, ICAR was the Guest of Honor at the occasion. Dr. Singh clearly spelt out the urgent need of mechanizing harvesting activities in sugarcane, as labour scarcity is hampering the timely harvesting and other cane cultivation operations to a great extent and due to which farmers and millers both incurring crores of rupees loss every year. Scientists/Engineers must intensify their efforts to develop cost effective & feasible mechanical sugarcane harvester for Northern India. At the same time crop cultivation should also be module to suit the mechanized harvesting of cane, as Dr. Singh said.

While delivering welcome address, Dr. S. Solomon, Director, IISR said that IISR developed many sugarcane machines like Sett cutting machine, planter, RMD, RBS planter etc. in the past which benefited farmers and sugar industry at large. He also reminded IISR commitment to develop mechanical harvester and informed the august gathering that IISR may come out with mechanical harvester very soon as we developed the prototype and field verification is under progress. Dr. G. S. C. Rao, President STAI and Chief Executive, Shimbhaoli Sugars presented the theme of the seminar. Dr. Rao remarked that if present state of sugarcane cultivation continues, farmers may leave to grow sugarcane in the state. So, there is urgent need to increase sugarcane productivity and enhance farmers’ income. This can be achieved by technological advancements, and development of sugarcane harvester may be most desirable one.

In the seminar about 150 delegates including senior bureaucrats from Ministry of Agriculture/Consumer Affairs/Food & Public Distribution, Scientists, implements manufacturers, HODs, CDOs and other decision makers from Sugar & allied industry have participated. Leading farmers engaged in cultivation of Sugarcane in the region also participated. Dr. P. R. Singh was the coordinator of the event and Mrs Anita Sawnani coordinated the inaugural function and technical sessions conducted during the seminar. Vote of thanks to the august gathering in inaugural session was presented by Mr. A. K. Shukla, General Secretary, STAI.