Tag Archives: Agricultural Education

UP Distillers’ Association: Navigating Agriculture, Advocating Diversity, Inspiring Change

With the Government of India going aggressive in the E-20 blending target, availability of maize will be critical as presently India has limited maize production, needing a paradigm shift in quality upliftment, states the Secretary General of UP Distillers’ Association, Rajneesh Agarwal.

Mr. Agarwal mentioned that the Union Ministry of Agriculture had advised State Governments to plan and promote cultivation of maize in areas around 50-100 km of distillery through ‘special projects’ under the Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)/ Public–Private Partnership for integrated Agriculture Value Chain Development (PPPAVCD) scheme.

The UP Government, he added, has been in the forefront to increase maize production, allocating the budget for the same. The UPDA, he reiterated had extended its support and cooperation to the government programme and had decided to chalk out a roadmap together to take the campaign forward involving all stakeholders namely Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs); seed manufacturers; sowing & harvesting machine manufacturers and all other concerned in developing the eco-system. 

Mr. Agarwal pointed out that the key areas to work on in UP included increasing crop intensity; developing high yielding varieties; crop diversification with special incentive & subsidy for machinery in maize cultivation / harvesting; incentives to farmers in catchment areas; replicating the model prevalent in Gujarat; technology infusion initiatives; developing a dedicated online market like e-NAM for maize growers to ensure better pricing; and direct contact between farmers and industries.

As regards the efforts of UPDA, the Secretary General mentioned that the apex state body has been representing the distillery industry since 1983, rendering advocacy role on policy & regulatory matters and getting official recognition from numerous state & central government bodies.

Mr. Agarwal stated that as an active participant in the UP liquor growth story, UPDA would stand tall with unwavering dedication to quality and innovation. Recently, UPDA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) and with the Indian Institute of Maize Research. The prime objective is to undertake large-scale evaluation of newly developed hybrid maize varieties which promise higher ethanol recovery and improved protein quality in Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS). “We are glad to know that the UP Government has initiated steps on maize production allocating around ₹30 Cr. budget.”

The Secretary General also mentioned that the UPDA’s leadership team attended the Global Ethanol Summit in Washington in Oct’2023 organised by the US Grains Council a premier body under the US Department of Agriculture. USA is a leader in corn and ethanol production. Given the importance of maize as a potential future feedstock in India, the USGC, he said, was keen on partnering with UPDA for development of the corn programme. Following up on that a groundbreaking MoU was signed between UP Distillers’ Association (UPDA) and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) in New Delhi on April 24, 2024.

Mr. Agarwal said the future vision of this understanding is to take a deep-dive in to the Indian agrarian space & ecosystem to, establish innovative farming & logistical practices from latest US / Global Technologies for integration of higher ethanol blends into the ecosystem, training for maximisation of Corn value ethanol co-products, leveraging digital platforms etc.