Sugar has served mankind as a source of energy and as a sweeting agent the down of civilization. Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) and sugar beet (Betu vulgaris) are the two principal sources of the world's supply of sugar. Sugar cane is grown in tropical and sub-tropical countries, while beetroot is sugar from sugar cane originated in India, and from here, it spread eastwards to Malaya and China and westwards to Persia and beyond. The sugar industry has steadily grown and has become the backbone of the agricultural and rural economy in India. Today, sugar is the second largest agro processing industry, next to the textile industry. India is one of the largest producers of sugar in the world, with a production of over 25 million tones.
Khandsari is a kind of raw cane sugar manufactured in India since ancient times. After the advance of the modern vacuum pan sugar industry in the country, the production of khandsari has been on the decline. Khandsari sugar, except for small quantities exported, is consumed wholly in the country itself. Khandsari sugar industry about 4% of the cane raised in India. The Khandsari sugar production, which was originally confined to the State of Uttar-Pradesh only, is now spread all over the country. It occupies an important place in the country's sugar economy.
The sugar industry produces around 300-350 million tonnes (Mt) cane, 20-22 Mt white sugar and 6-8 Mt jiggery and khandsari to fulfill the domestic consumption of sweeteners. The industry is able to export around 1300 MW of power to the grid. Sugar industry is also involve to make avail of sugar complexes by manufacturing sugar, bio-electricity, bio-ethanol, bio-manure and chemical. These contribute about 1 per cent to National GDP. Sugar industries in India remains regulated and are a source of livelihood for 50 million farmers and their families. Industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association has pegged India's 2019-20 sugar production estimate 282 lakh tonnes, down by 19.6% over 2018-19 mainly due to decline in area under cane in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Few Indian major players are as under:
· Aakriti Sugar Mills Pvt. Ltd.
· Anamika Sugar Mills Pvt. Ltd.
· Athani Sugars Ltd.
· Bhimashankar Sugar Mills Ltd.
· Bilagi Sugar Mill Ltd.
· Dhampur Sugar Mills Ltd.
· Dhampure Specialty Sugars Ltd.