Delay in sugarcane harvest may potentially harm the sugar industry worldwide

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The COVID-19 pandemic situation may lead to India facing a potential delay in the harvesting of its massive sugarcane crop due to unavailability of migrant workers. Sugar harvest in India begins in October, when other major producers are winding down. According to the government, 370 million tonnes of cane is produced annually, second-most worldwide behind Brazil, but mechanization accounts only for about 5% of the work. The fear of infection may make the labourers to take up jobs near their locality and not travel for harvesting sugarcane. This will lead to decrease in the sugar availability worldwide, increasing the price in the global market.

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