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This Startup has Found Innovative Ways to Diversify Sugarcane Byproducts

Sugarcane is the most produced agricultural commodity in tropical and subtropical regions, where it is primarily used for the production of sugar and ethanol. In 2018, the top producers of sugarcane were Brazil (747 Mt), India (377 Mt), China (109 Mt), Thailand (104 Mt), and Mexico (57 Mt) (FAOSTAT 2019).

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Sugar Cane
Sugarcane Byproduct

Sugarcane is the most produced agricultural commodity in tropical and subtropical regions, where it is primarily used for the production of sugar and ethanol.  In 2018, the top producers of sugarcane were Brazil (747 Mt), India (377 Mt), China (109 Mt), Thailand (104 Mt), and Mexico (57 Mt) (FAOSTAT 2019).

There are further untapped potentials and options for improvement within the sugarcane industry. But there haven’t been much research and studies established for further product portfolio diversification. Vipin Sarin, an Engineer from Haryana, identified the need for the development of innovative by products of Sugarcane to improve the product portfolio. His study and research reviewed the different possibilities and has also proposed innovative ways to diversify the sugarcane byproducts.

Innovative Ideas with Affordable Prices:

In conversation with Vipin Sarin, we understand that the startup he is proposing will help farmers make better decisions. He has come up with innovative ideas which will assist the farmer also and will at the same time provide high-quality produce to consumers keeping affordability in mind. This would be a game-changer for the farmers as well as his coming generations. Chemical-free products at a reasonable price would be the trademark of his products. He has come with several innovative methods of value addition without much big investments.

The 80/20 Formula:

Sarin continues to explain the Pareto principle of 80/20 that could be applied here to solve this equation where 80% of farmer’s income can come from contributing 20% of land for village based value added process for local sale within 50 km radius. 80% of land can be used for other sugarcane customers (jaggery, sugarmill, juice etc) to maintain that supply chain and other multi-crops which society needs at affordable price. All expenses of natural farming of total land should be covered in prices of sugarcane value added products along with basic expenses for farmer families to live up to the right living standards.

Vipin’s Journey

Vipin Sarin an Engineer along with his brother were into Organic Farming in their 3 acre land in Haryana. Their products were in high demand and so they were under too much pressure to expand their business, but instead of expanding and competing in a sector that already had much competition, Vipin Sarin ventured into a very different Crop Sugarcane and its possibilities of establishing edible by-products and its value chains. The value-added edible by-products of sugarcane jaggery, sugarcane juice concentrate, powder jaggery, rab, vinegar etc. are not only nutritious but also have great export potential in the International market.

Sugarcane’s Value Added Products

The possible value additions are Ganna Jalebi (steaming hot sugarcane chunks is small size and small pack), Ganna Chuski, Ganna Gola, Ganna Imli Chutney, Frozen sugarcane juice block, Shaved frozen sugarcane block ice, Panipuri with sugarcane juice blends. Replacing ice and sugar in other juices by adding frozen sugarcane crushed ice, Waterless sugarcane coffee/tea, Sugarcane vinegar, Cane Vinegar pickled vegetables, Sugarcane jam spread, Oyster mushroom using sugarcane bagasse. Value-added products from cane-based mushrooms, Dietary fibre products from sugarcane bagasse (biscuits, rusks, bread, cookies), Use of cane ice in beauty parlors as skin glower, Sugarcane juice ATMs using frozen sugarcane juice bricks, Use of bagasse for bio digesters for getting gas, electricity, compost.

Ganna Chuski ,Ganna Jalebi,Cane Imli sauce and Frozen Gola are products that need  very low

investment.Sugarcane chunks cut in small size could be served hot/chilled with topping of tamarind sauce is a good to serve on chats like sweetcorn/sweet potatoes

GANNA JALEBI are  Jalebis dipped in natural sweet hot syrup and there are  no chances of adulteration Ganna Chuski is simply using a half-filled paper tea cup filled with sugarcane juice with a stick and kept in a deep freezer at -18 degree C overnight.  Frozen Gola is same paper teacup filled fully without stick in it and uses an ice crusher to serve crushed with toppings at a premium. Sugar in Hot Beverages like Tea and Coffee can be replaced by a frozen juice gola and it could also be added to green teas. All these products have multiple uses and will bring in an income on a daily basis. Your vegetable or milk vendor can carry these in portable bags along and supply to households on regular basis and refrigerate and use it conveniently. It could also be used in Hotels and Fine dining restaurants.

Test marketing has been done in Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi and Tamilnadu and farmers were able to get regular repeat orders in pre -lockdown period.

Adding value to give benefits to customer to get that extra margin, one has to keep on adding value and sustain the profitability and also keep on doing innovations in processing. All this cannot be done alone to survive. We need to join hands to create a growing and sustainable ecosystem.

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