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Evaluation of Tropical Sugar Beet in Different Locations of Bangladesh

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Evaluation of Tropical Sugar beet in Different Locations of Bangladesh

Submitted to: Dr. Sirajul Islam

Chief Agronomist

Submitted by: Shahina Akter

Young Professional Trainee

Date: 21 June, 2010

Evaluation of sugar beet in different location of Bangladesh

Introduction:

Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris), is a biennial crop whose root contains a high concentration of sucrose. It is a crop of temperate regions as a summer crop but proved its success in tropical and sub-tropical areas as a winter crop. It ranks second to sugar cane as the two most important sugar crops in the world. Beet sugar accounts for 30% of the world's sugar production. The agricultural cost of producing beet sugar is significantly more than the equivalent cost of cane sugar, so efficiency of production is a high priority.

In addition to processing pure beet sugar, sugar factories also produces by-product known as dried beet pulp. This excellent feed is not only valued by dairy farmers as a stimulant to milk flow in the cow, but it is also widely used in the feeding of cattle and sheep destined for meat packing plants.

Another important by-product is beet molasses, produced in quantities ranging from 4 percent to 5 percent of the weight of the beets and containing about 50 percent sugars. Beet molasses is used for production of yeast, chemicals and even pharmaceuticals, as well as in the production of mixed cattle feeds. It is acknowledged to be one of the best mediums for liquid cattle feed.

Prospects of sugar beet in Bangladesh:

In Bangladesh, Government is promoting diversification of crops to embrace high value crops and diversified crop varieties. Sugar beet can be one of the crops considered as an option in this context and it is therefore getting importance to increase knowledge about the potentials in the country for cultivating this crop. Sugar beet is a temperate climate crop. But Syngenta developed and successfully introduced new sugar beet that can be grown under tropical climate conditions that brings significant advantages to farmers, the environment, the sugar and ethanol industries and the economy. Tropical sugar beet can also be a good example of sustainable agriculture, since it improves land use and helps water management.

Sugar beet can be used as raw material for production of ethanol as bio-fuel. Beet top and beet pulp can also use as cattle feed. Continuous supply of raw materials is another importance of sugar beet because of continuous demand for ethanol necessitates continuous functioning of sugar mill.

Moreover, Bangladesh's annual demand for refined sugar is around 1.3 million tonnes. Local refiners produce around 1.2 million tons each year while state-owned sugar mills under the Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation produce around 80,000 tonnes(. Every year Bangladesh has to import a large amount of sugar. Furthermore, the situation becomes worse when the import of sugar remain suspended due to its high price in international market. To improve this condition, the new crop sugar beet can be an alternative source for sugar as well as to establish ethanol plant.

Rationale of sugar beet cultivation:

* Sugar beet contains 12-15% of sugar while sugar cane has only 7.16-7.49% of sugar (source: MIS report, BSFIC, 1971-2006).

* Sugar cane is a year round crop (12-16 months). Sugar mills start sugar processing from the month of November and it continues till March. In contrast, life cycle of sugar beet starts from November- December to March- April. A Sugar beet can be used as a substitute of sugar production for the remaining time of the year.

* Sugar beet is a 5-6 months old tuber crop. It can be used as an intercrop with sugar cane cultivation in its early stage of growth. It can also follow barley or wheat in the crop rotation.

* The yield loss of sugar beet due to pest and diseases is comparatively lower than sugar cane. Sugar beet yield losses are caused by seedling blights, root rots and foliar diseases. Using appropriate control methods will eliminate or reduce losses from diseases.

* Storage of sugar beet can be done by the processing company in the factory yard or at outside piling station.

* Sugar beet demands less water requirement than sugar cane.

Materials and Methods:

Since sugar beet yield is affected by climate and soil, physical land evaluation assessing the potentials and constraints for sugar beet production are therefore essential. It can aid assessment of the suitability of different areas in the tropics for sugar beet cultivation; and to test this for an assessment of suitable sugar beet zones and land areas in Bangladesh.

The experiment was carried out at Gazipur, Rajshahi, Dinajpur, and Thakurgaon with a view to find out the feasibility of tropical sugar beet cultivation in Bangladesh. The experimental design was a randomized complete block having three replications with plot size measurements of 10mx10m, the treatments were 9 genotypes requested got from Syngenta AG.

The following are the genotypes (treatments) which were tested:

1. Shubhra

2. Cauvery

3. C-Green

4. EB-0513

5. EB-0616

6. EB-0617

7. EB-0621

8. EB-0625

9. EB-0626

Another set of experiment was carried out at Patuakhali, Sathkhira, Noakhali, and Gazipur with 3 genotypes of

1. Shubhra

2. Cauvery and

3. Indus.

The sugar beet was established with furrow irrigation on single row planting system. Farm yard manure, TSP and MOP were applied @ 100kg, 2.8 kg and 1.2 kg per plot respectively. Nitrogen was applied at the rate of 1.4 kg as basal and o.7 kg as top dressing

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