India’s first ‘Sugar Museum’ to come up in Pune

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Mumbai, March 9 (IANS) The country’s first Sugar Museum, depicting the history and development of this crucial industry, will come up at the Sakhar Sankul in Shivajinagar in Pune.
The announcement was made by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who also holds the finance portfolio, while presenting the state Budget for FY 2021-2022.
“The proposed Sugar Museum will come up at a cost of Rs 40 crore. It will depict the progress made by the sugar industry in the state and its ancillary industries,” said Pawar.
It will also showcase how sugar has transformed rural Maharashtra, the various milestones in its growth, and the stalwarts behind its growth and sustenance.
It may be recalled that recently, Maharashtra Sugar Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad had mooted the proposal for such a dedicated museum at the Pune-based Vasantdada Sugar Institute’s AGM.
Pune is considered the sugar hub of Western Maharashtra, which is known for sugarcane cultivation and sugar factories, besides other allied industries.
Sugarcane and sugar form the backbone of the state politics largely controlled by the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, and the Bharatiya Janata Party, with other parties also attracted to it.
With sugar emerging as the primary cash crop in the region, the sugar cooperative movement got bitterly entwined with the political system, dating way back to the 1950s when the first cooperative sugar factory was set up by Vithalrao Vikhe-Patil and Dhananjayrao Gadgil.
Presently, there are 170-plus sugar cooperative factories operating in the state, which accounts for one-fifth of the country’s sugar production, ranking just behind Uttar Pradesh.

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