Sugarcane is an evergreen plant that grows in the hot and humid climate. It is eight to fifteen feet high. Almost 70 per cent sugar in the world is obtained from sugarcane. The sugarcane crop grows from 9 to 24 months. Different things such as paper, alcohol and cardboard are made from the outer covering (Bark) of the sugarcane. Several countries of the world are earning a huge amount of foreign exchange by cultivating sugarcane on commercial basis with the help of modern scientific methods. In the sub-continent, sugarcane crop is plated in spring and harvested at the start of winter season.
South Asia is the real home of sugarcane. More than two thousand years ago, when Alexander the Great invaded India, the people of the Sub-continent were well aware of the use and cultivation of sugarcane. They knew how to prepare Gur and raw sugar from sugarcane. The preparation of sugar from the sugarcane began regularly at the end of the fifteen country
- Types of sugarcane:
There are numerous types or varieties of sugarcane. But basically, there are two main types of sugarcane. They are
- Tropical or equatorial type of sugarcane
- Indian or Monsoon type of sugarcane
- Suitable physical factors:
The following suitable physical conditions are necessary for the cultivation of sugarcane.
- Suitable temperature
Sugarcane is a plant that grows in the tropical climate. The temperature of 18 C to 27 C is considered suitable for the cultivation of sugarcane. Even if the temperature is not 16 degrees centigrade, it remains suitable. However, below 10 degrees centigrade is not a suitable temperature for the sugarcane cultivation.
Annual rainfall of 40 to 70 inches is required for the proper growth of the sugarcane. Artificial methods of irrigation are used in the areas where there is no sufficient amount of rain. In such cases, the sugarcane crop is irrigated 16 to 18 times. Each time, the depth of water should be from four to five inches.
Every crop depends on good fertile soil. Same is the case with the sugarcane crop. The soil having a reasonable amount of phosphorus, nitrogen and potash is regarded as suitable for the growth of the sugarcane crop. Before the sowing of the crop, the soil is properly ploughed and softens for the effective drainage of water and for keeping the soil soft for a long time. Thus, the fertile loamy soil and lava soil found in the river valleys and regions is considered to be most suitable for the sugarcane production.