Prime Minister Narendra Modi advanced India's target of 20 percent ethanol blending by 5 years recently. On Environment Day, in his address to the nation, he said that ethanol would now be produced across the country with the setting up of food grain waste and agricultural waster distilleries.
This would supplement production which initially came only from 4-5 sugar-growing states.
Apart from providing the country with a greener option, as blending ethanol with fossil fuels reduces pollution, this bio-diesel reduces fossil fuel consumption and thereby lowering the crude import bill.
Furthermore, ethanol also greatly benefits both sugar farmers and sugar mills by allowing for alternate income and reducing the burden of surplus stock.
It is clear that the government intends to capitalise on this option and to do so the industry has been asking for tax breaks among various other incentives.
So will the centre's ethanol push really impact the import bill and will farmers really be able to benefit from that? To discuss this, Manisha Gupta spoke with Vivek Saraogi, MD of Balrampur Chini Mills; Samir Somaiya, MD & Chairman of Godavari Biorefineries and Jose Orive, ED of International Sugar Organization.Watch the video for more.