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India to Chair International Sugar Organisation

India is set to take the helm as the chairman of the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) in 2024, marking a significant milestone for the country. As the world’s largest consumer and second-largest producer of sugar, this leadership role reflects India’s growing influence in the global sugar sector. The announcement came during the 63rd council meeting of the ISO, headquartered in London.

Focus on Sustainability

The chairmanship for 2024 brings a unique opportunity for India to lead the global sugar sector towards more sustainable practices. The focus will be on uniting member countries to adopt environmentally friendly approaches in sugarcane cultivation, sugar and ethanol production, and the efficient utilization of by-products. This initiative aligns with India’s commitment to sustainable agricultural practices and responsible production.

Global Impact of Indian Sugar Trends:

India’s substantial share of approximately 15% in global sugar consumption and 20% in sugar production positions it as a key player with a profound impact on global markets. With Brazil leading in the western hemisphere, India holds the market leader position in the eastern hemisphere for the sugar market. This strategic position makes India the ideal nation to lead the ISO, an apex international body with around 90 member countries.

Ethanol Production and Green Energy Commitment:

India, now the third-largest country in the world in terms of ethanol production, demonstrates a strong commitment to green energy. Surplus sugar in the domestic market is being ingeniously transformed into a solution for reducing fossil fuel imports and achieving COP 26 targets for India. The increase in ethanol blending percentage from 5% in 2019-20 to 12% in 2022-23, with production rising from 173 crore liters to over 500 crore liters during the same period, showcases India’s progress in this direction.

Positive Impact on Farmers and Stable Sugar Prices:

The era of pending cane dues for farmers is considered a thing of the past, with over 98% of cane dues for the last season (2022-23) already paid and more than 99.9% of dues from previous seasons cleared. Domestic sugar retail prices remain consistent and stable, despite a global increase of about 40% in one year. India has managed to contain sugar prices within a 5% increase from the previous year, demonstrating a delicate balance without burdening the industry.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • International Sugar Organisation Founded: 3 December 1968;
  • International Sugar Organisation Headquarters: London, E14; United Kingdom.

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