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Commodity
GUR
Description | Overview | Production | Grading rules| Major trading centers | Contract specifications
Description


Gur is a coarse, unrefined sugar made by evaporating the syrup or juice of certain kinds of palm trees but specifically, from the syrup of palmyra (borassus flabelliformis). It is a traditional whole sugar, which is not refined, but it is still pure and wholesome. Gur and khandisari are traditional Indian sweeteners and they are produced in addition to sugar. It can also be defined as a honey brown colored raw lump of sugar. It is sugar and molasses’s natural mixture. The best type of gur is not brick hard, but it is easily breakable and looks clean. It is popular throughout southeast and southern Asia and it is available generally in the form of cakes. It contains all the minerals and vitamins present in sugarcane juice and that is why it is known as the healthiest sugar in the world. In south America, gur is known by the name of panela.

Overview


Sugar cultivation is done on around 4 million hectares of land in India. It mainly consists of the production of sugarcane that has fluctuated between 230-300 million tons in recent years. It can be considered a fair rate of production as the sugarcane requirement in 2020 is estimated to be 415 million tons.

  As compared to a sugar plant, the capital requirement for making gur is very less. Gur or jaggery  are produced by the concentration of sugarcane juice and does not require any type of chemicals or additives or preservatives. That’s why it is also called a “natural” sweetener. It has got an enormous value as a medicine and a nutritional product. Gur contains a large amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Moreover, its use is also prescribed in the ayurvedic system of medicine as a medicinal sugar as it purifies the blood and prevents disorders of bile.

  These qualities are not present in sugar. Production of sugar requires a mix up of chemicals like sulphur dioxide, lime, phosphoric acid, formic acid and bleaching agents. Even the scientists have now proved that all the essential vitamins and minerals are missing from sugar as compared to gur and jaggery.

 But still, gur or jaggery is not produced on a commercial scale globally. Sugar is the most prominent sweetener that is used worldwide. The sugar industry dominates the consumption of the sugarcane produced in the country as compared to gur industry. In other words, sugar has been produced on a large scale not only in India but whole across the world. Currently around one-third of India's sweetener production of 26 million tons is in the form of these products. While, the production of sugar has fluctuated between 17-21 million tons. India's sugar consumption in 2003-04 is estimated to be 18.5 million tons.

Production

As discussed above, production of gur is cheap and simple as compared to sugar production. Production of sugar is very expensive and complicated as it depends on heavily centralized, giant sugar plant including a complicated system of machinery. On the other hand, gur can be produced on the sugarcane farm only, on a very small scale and unlike sugar, no complicated machinery is needed. It can be produced, just by boiling the pure clarified sugarcane juice. There is only 5% or even less capital requirement for making gur compared to sugar production. That is why it is within the reach of common sugarcane farmers also.

Gur production is directly proportional to the production of sugarcane. India can increase its gur production by increasing its sugarcane production. The following are the figures depicting yield in tons per hectare in the sugarcane producing states in India

State Production (tons/hectare)
Tamil Nadu 106
Kerala 93
Karnataka 91
Andhra Pradesh 72
Gujarat 72
West Bengal 70
Uttar Pradesh 65
Orissa 61
Punjab 56
Haryana 53
Bihar 41
Maharashtra 33

Now India must adopt a policy of increasing the production of gur. The only way to increase its production is to increase the rate of production of sugarcane. There are researches and developments, which are going on in the field improving yield levels of sugarcane. There is more scope in this regard in the north than in the south as production in south India is already much higher than north India.

And for the highest possible gur recovery, varieties of gur have to be bred.

Grading rules for gur

Grading is done for gur and jaggery, which is produced in India. Certain rules have been made under grading and marking rules, 1943 that relate to grading of gur and jaggery. These rules are applied to gur that is prepared in form of solid lumps. The following are the general characteristics of gur under these rules: - 

The gur

(a)     Shall be prepared exclusively from the clarified juice of sugarcane;

(b)     Shall be prepared in the form of shaped solid lumps (Bheli, Chakki, Luddoos, etc.) which shall be of firm consistency - not sticky or plastic;

(c)     Shall be reasonably free from extraneous matter such as bagasse, dirt & other impurities, the combined total of which shall be less than 1 percent by weight.

(d)     shall be dried to such an extent as reasonably to maintain its color, consistency and weight;

(e)     Shall bear no signs of superficial sweet or mould; and

(f)    Shall be sweet to the taste and not possess a sour, salty or other objectionable flavor

Also, gur has been designated under four categories under these rules. These designations relate to the quality of the gur. Different designations and their special characteristics are shown in the table below: -

Grade Designation

Special Characteristics

Color (not darker than) Texture
Extra special Cream or light Granular (Rawedar or Danedar)
Special Golden (same as above)
A I Dark golden Either granular (Rawe dar or Denedar) smooth (Chikna)
A II Light brown (same as above)
B Brown (same as above)

The different grades must be marked with a label of AGMARK with different colors pertaining to different grade designation: -

Extra Special     - White
Special               - Red
A I                       - Blue
A II                      - Yellow
B                               - Green

Major trading centers of gur and sugar in India


Major trading centers of gur and sugar in India are

  • Muzzafarnagar

  • Mumbai

  • Delhi

  • Bhatinda

  • Ludhiana

  • Meerut

  • Kolkata

  • Hapur

  • Gwaliar

  • Hyderabad

  • Chennai

Gur is traded in the following commodity markets: -

  • Bhatinda Om & Oil Exchange Ltd., Bhatinda

  •  The Meerut Agro Commodities Exchange Co. Ltd., Meerut

  • Vijay Beopar Chamber Ltd., Muzaffarnagar

  • Rajdhani Oils and Oilseeds Exchange Ltd., Delhi

  • The Chamber Of Commerce, Hapur

  • The Central India Commercial Exchange Ltd., Gwaliar

  • National Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited.

  • Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd.

  • National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd.

Future contract specifications of gur in various commodity exchanges
 
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