Maharashtra government has restricted sugarcane farmers from selling their produce outside the state in a bid to ensure that there is enough cane for the state's mills to run at maximum capacity.
Erratic rainfall has led to a drought-like situation in Maharashtra, the country's second-largest sugar producer, and it is likely to see a big drop in sugarcane yield.
Lower availability of cane leads to competition among sugar factories for the crop, resulting in mills poaching cane in each other's jurisdiction. Farmers prefer to sell sugarcane to the mills that pay higher prices.
The Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation, also known as Sakhar Sangh, had written to the state government on the need to take measures to ensure availability of sugarcane for the state's sugar mills.
«The co-operative sugar mills from the state are likely to face an acute shortage of sugarcane, which can reduce number of days for which they can operate,» said Sakhar Sangh in a letter to the government. «This can result in losses for mills.»