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Socio-economic impact of multiple furnace over single furnace in jaggery preparation

Sugarcane is an important cash crop occupying a prime place in Indian agriculture. Though it is mainly grown for production of white sugar in India, gur (jaggery) and khandasari (brown sugar), two other important sweetening agents from sugarcane, utilize about 45% of the cane produced. Jaggery preparation is the largest agroprocessing industry in the Cauvery command area of Karnataka (South Karnataka) comprising the entire Mandya and Chamrajanagar districts, parts of Mysore, Tumkur and Hassan districts with more than 3000 jaggery making units. A survey based study of jaggery making units in this area especially in Mandya and Chamrajanagar district was undertaken to know the performance of multiple furnace over traditional furnace in jaggery preparation in economic terms. Type of furnace was found to be the main deciding factor on quickness and efficiency of sugarcane juice boiling and jaggery preparation. The local types, viz. single pan and double pan furnaces not only consumed more time but were also uneconomical in terms of output and thereby net income. The jaggery output of those who have adopted triple pan furnace was twice that of local types. The impact of multiple pan furnace was in terms of economy, time saving, labour use, more production, productivity and efficiency of jaggery unit operation than the local types

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