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“Urgent need for the global sugar and ethanol industry to tackle climate change through sustainable practices”

Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and New and Renewable Energy, Pralhad Joshi inaugurated 64th Council Meeting of the International Sugar Organization (ISO) at Bharat Mandapam here today. The meeting will conclude on 27th June, 2024. Experts from over 30 countries participated in the meeting to discuss and deliberate on the future possibilities, challenges, and strategies in the sugarcane, sugar, and allied sectors. Earlier, India hosted 41st session of ISO council Meeting in 2012.

During his inaugural address, the Union Minister said nearly 5 crore farmers are engaged in cultivation of sugarcane and the industry is providing ample employment opportunities both directly and indirectly. He emphasised Government of India under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister accords top priority to the welfare of farmers and safeguarding interest of consumers as well as the industry thereby, ensuring collaborative efforts to improve agricultural practices.

Joshi expressed pride hosting the ISO conference and highlighted India’s commitment to advancing technology and skills in the sugar and biofuel sectors. Emphasizing India’s cultural and economic reliance on sugar, the Minister noted India’s status as the world’s largest sugar consumer and a significant biofuel producer, achieving over 12% ethanol blending with petrol and aiming for 20% soon.

The Minister underscored the role of biofuels in combating climate change and detailed the positive impacts of India’s Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) Programme on the sugar industry and farmers. The Minister encouraged delegates to leverage this conference for future ventures in the sugar sector and wished for its success.

Sanjeev Chopra, Secretary Department of Food & Public Distribution, Government of India and Chairman, ISO suggested the bigger role of ISO in times to come. He emphasized the urgent need for the global sugar and ethanol industry to tackle climate change through sustainable practices, including developing drought-resistant sugarcane, conserving water, and promoting biofuels. Further, the need for more collaboration amongst ISO member countries in using modern technology for their farmers, small players was also highlighted. India and Brazil both being top two sugar producing countries, shall collaborate and synchronised efforts should be made in research and development in sugarcane so that better varieties suitable for local conditions with higher yield and sucrose content may be developed. He also highlighted India’s strides in ethanol production and blending, underscoring the nation’s commitment to sustainability and encouraging international cooperation in these efforts. Chopra highlighted the success of Global Biofuel Alliance, an initiative of Prime Minister of India.

(Source: PIB)

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