Sugarcane is the main source of sugar in India and holds a prominent position as cash crop. It is cultivated mainly for sugar purpose. Sugarcane is the most important commercial crop of Ganjam District having assured marketing network, i.e. The Aska Co-operative Sugar Industries Ltd, Aska. The Sugar Industries has been running successfully since 1963-64 crushing season with 1250 TCD, which was expanded, to 2500 TCD from 1995-96 crushing season. Being the only oldest agro based industry under the co-operative sector; it provides livelihood opportunity to almost all the farming community along with the agricultural entrepreneurs leading to considerable economic growth of the different sections of the society of Ganjam District. To make the Industry viable, it requires 3.75 lakh Mts of sugarcane for running 150 days.
It is an accepted fact that India is the original home of sugarcane, Saccharum officinarum Linn, the thick juicy type of domesticated sugarcane called the “Noble cane” were introduced into India during 19th century. Agro-climatogically in Orissa particularly, Ganjam District is very much suitable for sugarcane cultivation.
Cultivating sugarcane around Aska is well known from 19th century and the cultivations are well informed about the cultivation practices. The salient climatic features such as an average rainfall, high humidity from June to October, low humidity and low temperature for two months before the harvest are conducive for growth of sugarcane and sugar accumulation.
The industry draws cane from 15 blocks of Ganjam district. They are divided in 9 Divisions for better management in agreement, input supply, arranging finance from different commercial banks, visiting cane fields and taking preventive measures in fungicide & pest management, and finally in cane harvesting and early transport to the Industry for Crushing.