Sugar is the second largest agro-based industry in India. The industry provides employment to about two million skilled and semi-skilled workers besides those who are employed in ancillary activities, mostly from rural areas. Though the industry contributes a lot to the socio-economic development of the nation, it is plagued with a number of problems such as cyclical fluctuations, high support prices payable to farmers, lack of adequate working capital, partial decontrol and the uncertain export outlook. Despite the problems, the industry has good growth potential due to steady increase in sugar consumption, retail boom and diversification into areas such as power generation and production of ethanol. The main aim of this study is to identify the problems and prospects associated with manufacturing and marketing of Jaggery in this study area and come out with certain workable solutions to safeguard the interest of the producer –cum seller of Jaggery.
PROBLEMS FACED IN MARKETING OF JAGGERY PRODUCTION IN NAMAKKAL DISTRICTS - A MICRO STUDY 1.1. INTRODUCATION
Sugar industry in India is a well-developed industry and one of the largest after textiles. It provides rural employment opportunities and plays an important role in Indian economy. Jaggery is also manufactured from sugarcane juice and is very widely used not only in individual households but also in many eateries, restaurants, clubs and hostels and it has certain industrial applications as well. Manufacture of sugar involves many technical aspects and the capital investment is also on the higher side. Compared to this, production of jiggery’s very simple and the capital cost is also very limited. Due to its wide applications, the market for Jaggery is continuously growing. Jaggery manufacturing is done on a small scale by a group of farmers. The juice is extracted from fresh sugarcane. Then it is filtered and boiled in wide, shallow iron pans with continous stirring and, simultaneously soda or bhindi juice is added in required quantity. While boiling, brownish foams come at the top which are continuously removed to get golden yellow colour of Jaggery. The consistency of the juice becomes thick and then it is poured into the small to medium sized iron or aluminum cans where blocks of Jaggery are formed after cooling. Size of the blocks can vary from 1 kg. to 12 kgs. Finally, these blocks are packed in gunny bags. From 100 kgs of sugarcane, 10 kgs of Jaggery is made. The process flow chart is as under: Juice Extraction → Filtration and Boiling → Cooling and Packing 1.2. USES OF JAGGERY:
Jaggery is widely used in the Indian cooking including those of the South Indian and Gujarati cuisines. The various South Indian foods like rasam, dal and sambar are also prepared with the addition of jaggery. In addition to its consumption in the raw form, it is used in the traditional dishes where it lends a touch of sweetness to the sourness and spiciness of the preparations. Further, it is used in the preparation of alcoholic beverages and to make items like candy, toffees, jaggery cakes and other similar sweet preparations. Its regular usage is advocated in the daily diet as it is a healthy and unrefined form of sugar. Interestingly, jaggery is used for the coating of insides of a tandoor oven to enable better flavor of dishes. Jaggery is also considered auspicious in many parts of India, and is eaten raw before commencement of good work or any important new venture. Toddy palm jaggery is also sometimes mixed with coconut shredding, plum puree or sesame, depending on the area. This type of jaggery is also used in Burmese cooking, usually to add colour and enrich the food. It is a rich source of iron due to the process involved, using iron utensils. Besides its uses as a food, jaggery may also be used to season the inside of tandoor ovens. Jaggery is ascribed with various medicinal...