POTENTIAL OF SUGAR BEET PRODUCTION IN PAKISTAN: A REVIEW
Sidra Majeed*, Mubbashira Nazir*, Sumia Bint Zaman * and Waqas Farooq*
Among developing countries Pakistan has highest demand of sugar i.e., 25 kg per capita per annum. Cane and beet are two major sources of sugar production in Pakistan. Sugarcane production in the country could meet only 75% demand of existing sugar mills. Present study looks into the prospects of sugar beet production especially in water scarce areas to bridge the demand gap and scrutinize the issues and constraints in commercial production of sugar beet. Trends were analyzed using existing published statistics. Water requirement of sugarcane is almost three-fold of the sugar beet. Sugar beet will not put pressure on water resources if cultivated on commercial scale. The government is in favor of beet sugar but sugarcane mill owners are reluctant to encourage sugar beet cultivation due to some technical barrier. Beet growing experiment at different sites of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Sindh have revealed encouraging results.