State sugar mills produce merely 2pc: Aim to produce 33,000 tonnes


Staff Reporter :
State-run sugar mills in the country are aiming to produce only 33,000 tonnes of sugar in the current fiscal year of 2023-24, fulfilling a mere two per cent of the national demand.

Despite boasting a combined annual production capacity of 2.1 lakh tonnes, the sugar mills under the Bangladesh Sugar & Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) struggled to produce 21,313 tonnes of sugar in the previous fiscal year, primarily due to limited sugarcane supply and inefficient machinery.

The production figures from FY2021-22 and FY22-23 were 24,509 tonnes and 21,313 tonnes, respectively, illustrating that sugar produced by the BSFIC mills only met 1.65 percent of the total demand.

In contrast, six private firms, with an annual requirement gap of about 20 lakh tonnes, have been refining and marketing the product by importing raw materials, meeting over 98 percent of the country’s sugar demand and running profitably.


The rising sugar prices, increasing by 27 percent year-on-year, have led to a retail price hike to Tk 140-145 per kg, surpassing the government-set price. Experts emphasize the need to boost the production of state-owned sugar mills to stabilize the sugar market in the country, given the consistent price hikes.

The vulnerability of the state-owned sugar mills has favored private refiners, allowing them to gain control over the market. Experts argue that if all sugar mills were operational and equipped to increase production, traders would be unable to manipulate market prices for their benefit. The government’s focus on providing benefits to traders is seen as detrimental to consumers, as it deprives them of a healthier market option.

The BSFIC report identifies several reasons for the decline in sugar production, including a decrease in sugarcane cultivation, the selling price of sugar being lower than the cost of production, the lack of development of disease-resistant sugarcane varieties, a shortage of efficient manpower, and aging, dilapidated machinery.

BSFIC officials note an increase in the production target, as farmers gradually cultivate higher-yielding sugarcane varieties, with this year’s sugarcane harvest reaching 5,86,000 tonnes compared to the 3,83,000 tonnes in the previous fiscal year.”