Brazil’s Sugar Cane Production Drops Significantly Due To Drought
Sugarcane crush production in Brazil’s southern and central regions is set to decline 6.86% in 2019. According to data released by UNICA (União da Indústria de Cana-de-Açúca) on October 13, corn sugarcane crushed by center- south producers reached around 467 million tonnes during the current crop season.
Brazil is the primary producer and exporter of sugarcane in the world, followed closely by India. Last year brazil had managed to produce about 665.1 million metric tonnes of sugar cane which was an unprecedented record in the past 12 years.
This year’s failure of sugarcane production as a crop stems from the fact that sugarcane can be considered to be a crop that needs around 1,500 to 3,000 litres of water per kilogram of cane which is quite a lot.
The best form of soil for sugarcane cultivation is a well-drained loamy soil with a neutral soil response (pH 6.5 to 7.5), appropriate nutrients, and no soil compaction (soil that has air trapped in it)
This is something only achievable in places with a good monsoon.
The reason behind brazils failure to meet this year’s production aims lies solely with the amount of rainfall that they had in this year. Droughts are becoming more frequent in Sao Paulo, as is the case in 2021. In 2014, the city’s reservoirs were on the verge of running empty.
Even though Brazil is an agricultural superpower, it is currently facing a drought crisis in 2021.
Increasing environmental pollution caused by human activity is causing the oceans surrounding Brazil to warm, and thus it is suffering from a change in the regular hydro cycle in the region, which is causing a lot of droughts.
These droughts also end up affecting the hydropower plants and hence end up creating an energy crisis too. Sugarcane and its derivatives like ethanol may play a crucial role in creating new and renewable energy sources however, until the water crisis is solved, it will be challenging for people actually to implement it.