Source: The Hindu
The Bhalkeshwar sugar factory, a new venture, has promised to help sugarcane farmers in distress in Bidar district. The factory, coming up in Bajolaga in Bhalki taluk, plans to procure and crush sugarcane in a transparent manner.
“It also plans to train farmers in advanced sugarcane farming methods,” said the former MLA Prakash Khandre. “Sugar prices keep fluctuating and a factory dependent only on sugar production cannot make profits in today's market. That is why we are planning to diversify into cogeneration of power and production of ethanol and biodiesel.
We also plan a distillery on the premises. The waste products of the sugar factory will be raw materials for the distillery,” Mr. Khandre explained. The factory will come up in two phases. It plans to crush 2,500 tonnes of sugarcane a day in the first phase and produce 16 MW of power in the cogeneration unit. In the second phase, it will double its capacity to 5,000 tonnes a day and produce a total of 32 MW. Construction of the factory is going on and experimental crushing will start by May next year, Mr. Khandre said. The State Government has promised cooperation, he said.
Bidar is among the highest sugarcane-producing districts in the State. At present, sugarcane stands on 40,000 hectares. The district has three cooperative sugar factories now.