India is the world’s second largest producer of sugarcane and largest consumer of sugar. Sugarcane is a highly water-intensive crop and its cultivation has significant impact on the hydrology of the area where it is grown.
In some parts of India, about 60 per cent of the irrigation water is dedicated to sugarcane cultivation, which constitutes only 3-4 per cent of the agriculture land.
The average ratio of water withdrawal to water availability in areas where sugarcane is grown ranges between 50 and 70 per cent, posing a serious threat to water availability and cane production in the future.
WWF-India works directly with sugar mills and reaches out to farmers to promote better management practices in cropping.
WWF-India is testing and validating the environmental principles of Bonsucro (a sustainability standard) in context of the Indian market for its adoption on a wider scale. It is also estimating the water and carbon footprint of sugarcane production with selected sugar mills of India