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About The International Sugar Organisation


The recent announcement at the 63rd council meeting of the International Sugar Organisation (ISO), headquartered in London, heralded a significant moment for India. India is set to chair the organization in 2024, marking a pivotal milestone in its global stature within the sugar industry.


GS III: Agriculture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. International Sugar Organization (ISO)
  2. Status of the Sugar Industry in India

International Sugar Organization (ISO):

  • Interconnected Representation: The ISO functions as a crucial intergovernmental entity dedicated to advancing the dynamics of the worldwide sugar market.
  • Global Reach: Representing 87% of global sugar production and 64% of consumption, the organization boasts a diverse membership of approximately 88 nations, including India.
  • International Sugar Agreement (ISA), 1992: Administered by the ISO, the ISA aims to cultivate international cooperation in sugar-related affairs, stimulate discussions among governments to enhance the global sugar economy, disseminate market information, and promote diversified sugar use.

Status of the Sugar Industry in India

Global Dominance:
  • Consumption and Production: India has secured its position as the largest consumer and the second-largest producer of sugar on the global stage. Boasting a considerable 15% share in worldwide sugar consumption and maintaining a robust 20% production rate, India wields significant influence over international sugar dynamics.
  • Regional Leadership: Serving as the Eastern Hemisphere’s market leader in sugar, India complements Brazil’s dominant presence in the Western Hemisphere. This dual leadership solidifies India’s role as a pivotal player in shaping the global sugar landscape.
Geographical Conditions:
  • Temperature and Climate: The growth of sugar thrives in regions with temperatures ranging between 21-27°C, coupled with a hot and humid climate—a characteristic well-suited for the cultivation of sugarcane.
  • Rainfall: A crucial factor in sugar cultivation, the optimal range of rainfall falls between 75-100 cm, ensuring the adequate moisture required for the growth of sugarcane.
  • Soil Type: Deep and rich loamy soil serves as the preferred medium for sugar cultivation, providing the necessary nutrients for the thriving sugarcane crops.
Distribution and Production Regions:
  • Northern Belt: Encompassing states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, and Bihar, the northern belt stands as a significant hub for sugar production in India.
  • Southern Belt: Spanning Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh, the southern belt capitalizes on a tropical climate. This region is conducive to higher sucrose content in crops, translating to increased yields per unit area when compared to northern India.
  • Regional Disparities: The varying climatic conditions between the northern and southern regions contribute to regional disparities in sugar production, with the southern belt enjoying advantages in terms of yield and quality due to its tropical climate.
Government Initiatives:
  • Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP): The government sets the FRP annually, ensuring a minimum price for sugarcane paid by mills to farmers.
  • Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme: India aims to achieve a 20% ethanol-blended petrol target by 2025, utilizing ethanol derived from sugarcane processing and alternative sources to reduce fossil fuel consumption in vehicles.

February 2024