Sugarcane, or Sugar cane, is any of six to 37 species (depending on which taxonomic system is used) of tall perennial true grasses of the genus Saccharum, tribe Andropogoneae. Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout jointed fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres (6 to 19 feet) tall. All sugar cane species interbreed, and the major commercial cultivars are complex hybrids.

Sugarcane belongs to the grass family (Poaceae), an economically important seed plant family that includes maize, wheat, rice, and sorghum and many forage crops. The main product of sugarcane is sucrose, which accumulates in the stalk internodes. Sucrose, extracted and purified in specialized mill factories, is used as raw material in human food industries or is fermented to produce ethanol. Ethanol is produced on a large scale by the Brazilian sugarcane industry.

Sugarcane is the world's largest crop. In 2010, FAO estimates it was cultivated on about 23.8 million hectares, in more than 90 countries, with a worldwide harvest of 1.69 billion tonnes. Brazil was the largest producer of sugar cane in the world. The next five major producers, in decreasing amounts of production, were India, China, Thailand, Pakistan and Mexico.

The world demand for sugar is the primary driver of sugarcane agriculture. Cane accounts for 80% of sugar produced; most of the rest is made from sugar beets. Sugarcane predominantly grows in the tropical and subtropical regions, and sugar beet predominantly grows in colder temperate regions of the world. Other than sugar, products derived from sugarcane include falernum, molasses, rum, cachaça (a traditional spirit from Brazil), bagasse and ethanol. In some regions, people use sugarcane reeds to make pens, mats, screens, and thatch. The young unexpanded inflorescence of tebu telor is eaten raw, steamed or toasted, and prepared in various ways in certain island communities of Indonesia.

In India, between the sixth and fourth centuries BC, the Persians, followed by the Greeks, discovered the famous "reeds that produce honey without bees". They adopted and then spread sugar and sugarcane agriculture. A few merchants began to trade in sugar - a luxury and an expensive spice until the 18th century. Before the 18th century, cultivation of sugar cane was largely confined to India. Sugarcane plantations, like cotton farms, were a major driver of large human migrations in the 19th and early 20th century, influencing the ethnic mix, political conflicts and cultural evolution of various Caribbean, South American, Indian Ocean and Pacific island nations.

Read more about SugarcaneDescription, History, Cultivation, Processing, Production, Cane Ethanol, Bagasse Applications, Sugarcane As Food

Other articles related to "sugarcane":

Shrirampur - History
... was considered as one of the major producers of sugarcane in the sugarcane belt in the state of Maharashtra ... Over 10 to 15 sugarcane industries surrounded the town make for a very industrious economy ...
Sugarcane As Food
... Cane juice Freshly squeezed sugarcane juice ... are relative to US recommendations for adults In most countries where sugarcane is cultivated, there are several foods and popular dishes derived directly from it, such as Raw sugarcane ... Sugarcane juice a combination of fresh juice, extracted by hand or small mills, with a touch of lemon and ice to make a popular drink, known variously as usacha rass, guarab, guarapa, guarapo, papelón, aseer asab ...
Agriculture In Paraguay - Crops - Sugarcane
... Sugarcane remained an important cash crop for small farmers in the late 1980s ... many countries in the Western Hemisphere, Paraguay saw sugarcane as a crop of the future, not because of its use for refined sugar and molasses, but as an input to ethanol, an increasingly ... Sugarcane was planted in Paraguay as early as 1549 with seedlings from Peru, and sugar had been exported since 1556 ...
Agriculture In Bolivia - Principal Crops - Sugar
... Bolivia had been self-sufficient in sugar production since 1963, although sugarcane had been grown since the colonial era ... Sugarcane in the 1980s was a cash crop of significance for both the domestic and the export markets ... In 1988 cultivation of sugarcane on 62,000 hectares produced 140,000 tons of sugar, figures which represent a sharp decline from 1986 figures ...
Sugarcane Smut
... Sugarcane smut is a fungal disease of sugarcane caused by the fungus Sporisorium scitamineum ... It attacks several sugarcane species and has been reported to occur on a few other grass species as well, but not to a critical amount ... Resistance to sugarcane smut is the best course of action for management, but also the use of disease free seed is important ...