Maharashtra is India’s largest sugar-producing state but the drought-prone state will need very good reasons to continue favouring the water-guzzling crop, especially when it’s battling its worst drought in 40 years.

Sugarcane, one of the most water-intensive crops grown in the state, requires 10 times more water than jowar or nut and around 80% is ironically grown in regions that have a history of water scarcity.

The area under cultivation for sugarcane is only around 16% of the total cultivable land in the state, according to a 2005 World Bank report, but sugarcane consumes around 70% of the total water available through the irrigation system for farming in the state. Read More

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