Sugar manufacturing: Amongst the large and small industries in the district, sugar industry is by far the most important. Of the 24 large-scale registered factories in the district in 1961, about 46 per cent or eleven were sugar factories. Of the eleven sugar factories in the district, five were in the co-operative sector. The following is the list of sugar factories in the district: —


Ganesh Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd., Rahata, Kopargaon taluka;


Kopargaon Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd., Kopargaon, Kopargaon taluka;


Pravara Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd., Pravaranagar, Kopargaon taluka;


Rahuri Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd., Rahuri, Rahuri taluka;


Ashok Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd., Shrirampur, Shrirampur taluka;


Godavari Sugar Mills Ltd., Laxmiwadi and Sakharwadi, Kopargaon taluka;


Shri Changdev Sugar Mills Ltd., Puntamba, Kopargaon taluka;


Maharashtra Sugar Mills Ltd., Tilaknagar, Shrirampur taluka;


Belvandi Sugar Farm Private Ltd., Ghod Project Area,Shrigonda taluka (two separate units);




Belapur Sugar Co. Ltd., Haregaon, Shrirampur taluka.

 The combined crushing capacity of these eleven sugar factories was 10,100 tons of sugar-cane per day. As per the Census of 1961 these sugar factories together provided a daily employment to about 7,800 workers during the season. Two more sugar factories on co-operative basis, viz., Takli Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd., Kopargaon, and Koregaon Vibhag Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd., Shrirampur have been recently licensed and have also started production.

In what follows is given a brief description of a few of the sugar factories which will give an idea regarding their working in the district: —

Ganesh Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd.: The Ganesh Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd. was established at Ganeshnagar (Rahata) in Kopargaon taluka on March 3, 1955. It is a seasonal unit working for about 180 to 240 days in a year, depending upon the availability of sugar-cane between October and June. As on 30th June 1969, the total productive capital of the factory was Rs. 58.63 lakhs. The fixed capital investment of the factory was Rs. 2,27.58 lakhs of which an amount of Rs. 49.76 lakhs was invested in land and buildings, Rs. 1,37.75 lakhs in plant and machinery and Rs. 40.07 lakhs in furniture, fixtures, fittings, vehicles, etc.

By the end of the season, the factory had an opening balance of Rs. 31.83 lakhs in bank and cash on hand; had stores worth Rs. 23.94 lakhs; the stock of sugar valued at Rs. 2,56.02 lakhs; the stock of raw sugar valued at Rs. 10.08 lakhs; the stock of other variety of sugar known as rodi sugar valued at Rs. 0.41 lakhs and the stock of molasses valued at Rs. 0.18 lakhs.

The factory provided employment to about 800 to 815 workers including 348 skilled workers during the season and about 625 workers including 245 skilled workers during the off-season. Besides workers, about 75 other persons including contract labour and sugar house workers were also employed during the season.

The factory distributed a bonus of 20 per cent to its workers. The wage-bill in the year 1968-69 amounted to Rs. 27.44 lakhs. The expenditure on engineering store in the same year came to Rs. 7.45 lakhs, while on manufacturing stores it was Rs. 13.49 lakhs.

About 2,59,548 tons of sugar-cane valued at Rs. 296.09 lakhs brought by the members of the society was crushed during the year. During the same year, the production of sugar amounted to 2,03,223 bags valued at Rs. 418.99 per bag. The annual productive capacity of the factory-was 1,000 to 1,250 metric tonnes.

At the time of establishment of the factory, the Government contributed an amount of Rs. 10 lakhs towards the share-capital of the factory.

The following statement gives the quantity of sugar-cane crushed and sugar produced by the factory from 1957-58 to 1968-69: —


Sugarcane crushed (in metric tonnes)

Production of sugar (in bags)

1957-58 1,06,442



































The following statement shows the percentage yield of sugar for the seasons from 1957-58 to 1968-69: —


Percentage yield


Percentage yield

























The following statement gives details regarding the fixed deposits with the factory from 1957-58 to 1968-69 : —


Fixed deposits

(in Rs.)

























Rahuri Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd.: The Rahuri Co-operative Sugar Factory Ltd. was established at Rahuri in 1954. It is a seasonal unit working for about 220 days in a year between October and June. During the season of October 1968 to June 1969 the factory worked for 221 days.

The productive capital of the factory as on June 30, 1969 was Rs. 71,78,525. The fixed capital investment of the factory was Rs. 4,00,25,555, comprising land and buildings, Rs. 58,86,573; plant and machinery, Rs. 3,16,55,010 and furniture, fixtures, vehicles and other miscellaneous items, Rs. 24,83,972. The working capital was Rs. 3,16,82,967.

At the end of the year (30th June 1969), the factory had unsold sugar-stocks worth Rs. 3,62,33,859, raw sugar worth Rs. 7,80,720, sugar under different processes, Rs. 2,29,958; molasses Rs. 56,515 and bagasse Rs. 1,42,962. At the same time the cash on hand was Rs. 1,799, while an amount of Rs. 3,46,428 was in bank deposits of which an amount of Rs. 2,93,482 was in fixed deposits and the remaining amount of Rs. 52,946 was in current deposit accounts.

On an average, the factory provided employment to 845 workers including 289 skilled workers, and 39 persons other than workers. During the year 1968-69, the total payment towards wages and salaries amounted to Rs. 21,44,413, whereas an amount of Rs. 4,34,118 was distributed as bonus.

During the same period fuel worth Rs. 45,000 was consumed. The quantity of 3,58,061 tons of sugar-cane valued at Rs. 4,06.02 lakhs was crushed in the factory. The value of chemicals used came to Rs. 5.22 lakhs. The packing material used was valued at Rs. 12.97 lakhs during the same period.

During the same year production amounted to 3,71,878 quintals of sugar (4,02,610 bags) and 29,942 quintals of raw sugar valued at Rs. 9,03,47,192.

The factory secured loans from different agencies. Its initial loan amounted to Rs. 43,00,000. The total loan sanctioned by the Government of Maharashtra to the factory was to the tune of Rs. 5,13,924 under two projects. The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India granted a loan of Rs. 3,51,594 to this factory.

The Government has granted a licence for distillation to the factory. The Ahmadnagar District Central Co-operative Bank Ltd. had sanctioned a loan of Rs. 17 lakhs for the erection of the distillation plant.

During the year under reference the factory paid to the public exchequer an amount of Rs. 1,29.48 lakhs by way of excise duty, licence fee, purchase tax on sugar-cane, etc.

Sanjeevani (Takli) Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd.: The Sanjeevani (Takli) Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd. was established at Sahajanand-nagar (Takli in Kopargaon taluka) during 1960-61. During the 1968-69 season the factory worked for 233 days and its production amounted to 2,50,135 bags of refined sugar and 28,565 bags of raw sugar. The yield of sugar was placed at 11.01 per cent.

The following statement gives the information about working hours of the factory from 1963-64 to 1968-69: —








Working hours







The following statement gives the information about the quantity of sugarcane crushed from 1963-64 to 1968-69: —


Sugarcane crushed (in metric tonnes)


Sugarcane crushed (in metric tonnes)













The statistics of sugar production, both refined and raw, for the same period is given below in metric tonnes:















Raw sugar














During the year 1968-69„ an amount of Rs. 6,66,321.52 was paid to the workers by way of wages and salaries including bonus of Rs. 2,46,004.08.

This co-operative sugar factory had a membership of 2,751 in 1968-69. The following statement gives the details about the membership of the society from 1963-64 to 1968-69: —


Number of members


Number of members













The factory proposes to start a distillery with the co-operation of some other co-operative sugar factories which is expected to reduce the per-unit cost of production in the factory. The factory also intends to start dairy industry with an investment of over a crore of rupees.

Statistics of sugar industry: As on June 30, 1969, there were 7 co-operative sugar factories in the district. During 1966-67 the total membership of the co-operative sugar factories stood at 21,306 including 21,074 individuals and 232 institutions. The same rose to 24,450 including 24,175 individuals and 275 institutions. During 1966-67 the share-capital of these factories stood at Rs. 3,12.82 lakhs including Government contribution of Rs. 10.75 lakhs towards the share-capital. During 1967-68, it rose to Rs. 3,33.67 lakhs including Government contribution of Rs. 66.75 lakhs towards share-capital. These factories had reserve and other funds worth Rs. 4,95.63 lakhs in 1966-67 and Rs. 5,82.42 lakhs in 1967-68. The working capital which was Rs. 1,682.45 lakhs in 1966-67 rose to Rs. 17,55.28 lakhs in 1967-68. The production of sugar of the co-operative factories declined to 12.49 lakhs of bags in 1967-68 from 14.49 lakhs of bags in 1966-67. However, the sale-proceeds were more in 1967-68 as against those in 1966-67. In 1966-67 the sale-proceeds were Rs. 14,65.31 lakhs. The same rose to Rs. 23,15.02 lakhs in 1967-68.

Sugar-manufacturing is an important industry in this district. In 1972-73 there were 12 sugar factories including those in the private and co-operative sectors. The production of sugar in the district amounted to 32,84,872 quintals, of which an amount of 2,27,064 quintals was exported out of the district in 1972-73. The value of the exported sugar amounted to Rs. 2,85,64,651.20. The Government of India realised a revenue of Rs. 15,63,26,792.53 from the sugar industry in the district. The statistics about the sugar industry in the district from 1963-64 to 1972-73 which are furnished in table No. 4 are self-explanatory.



Number of sugar factories

Sugar production in quintals

Revenue realised


in Rs.


Value in Rs.





























































Electricity generation: Prior to the establishment of the Ahmadnagar Division of the Maharashtra State Electricity Board in February 1965 and the Shrirampur Division in April 1968 the state of generation and consumption of electricity in Ahmadnagar district displayed its backwardness. This becomes obvious from the fact that there were only eight towns which received the benefit of electrification in 1964-65, viz., Ahmadnagar, Sangamner, Belapur, Shrirampur, Wari, Kopargaon, Budhgaon and Karjat.

Before the supply of power by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board, the Ahmadnagar Electric Supply Company which was a private limited company supplied electricity to Ahmadnagar and the surrounding areas. The supply was not only insufficient to cope up with the growing needs of industrialisation but also costlier. This factor was responsible for arresting the growth of organised and modern industry in the district with the result that many of the sugar factories had to establish their own generators. The Maharashtra State Electricity Board which is the principal supplier of power at present supplies power from the Koyna Hydro-Electric Project,

In 1966-67 the total power supplied to this district amounted to 93,73,000 KWH of which 19,79,000 KWH was used for industrial purposes and 22,94,000 KWH for domestic consumption.

The rate of electricity for domestic consumption prescribed by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board is 31 paise per unit, and for industrial purposes it is 15 paise per unit.

In keeping with the rapid growth of the sugar industry and a number of ancillary industries the demand for electricity has been gradually on the increase in the district. A number of electric motors are found to be installed for pumping out water from wells. Ahmadnagar district presents a case for advancing the programme of rural electrification. The Maharashtra State Electricity Board had fixed up a target of supplying electric connections for 7,000 pumps in 1970-71 for the district. Upto March 1970, as many as 393 villages and towns in the district were electrified.

Upto 31st March 1961, only four towns and one village in the district were electrified. Under the scheme of rural electrification as many as 631 villages [ Since 1971-72, the Shrirampur division of the Maharashtra State Electricity Board has handed over 103 electrified villages and two towns to Mula Pravara Co-operative electric societies.] and six towns in the district were electrified upto March 1972. Thus, about 40 per cent of the total number of villages were provided with electric power. Besides, the villages in the vicinity of the following sugar factories were benefited by the power generation units of the factories: —(i) Pravaranagar, (ii) Shivaji-nagar, (iii) Ganeshnagar, (iv) Ashoknagar, (v) Laxmiwadi, (vi) Chang-deonagar, (vii) Tilaknagar, (viii) Belawandi, (ix) Haregaon, (x) Kolpe-wadi, (xi) Sakharwadi and (xii) Chitali distillery areas were electrified by means of their own generators.

The following table gives the information about the consumption of electricity in Ahmadnagar district for 1971-72: —

TABLE No. 5—CONSUMPTION OF ELECTRICITY [The per-capita consumption of electricity increased from 1. 69 KWH during 1961-62 to 42.85 KWH in 1971-72.] IN AHMADNAGAR DISTRICT (in '000' KWH) in 1971-72

Electricity used for


Domestic consumption

Commercial light and small power

Industrial power

Public lighting


Other purposes















Bidi-making and tobacco processing: In 1961 there were 108 registered bidi-making factories in Ahmadnagar district and more than 8,000 persons were employed in these factories. The number of factories increased to 130 in 1966 of which 128 were working. There were 9,369 persons engaged in these factories. In December 1969, there were 143 bidi industries which provided employment to 10,954 workers in the district. It is thus evident that this is an important industry from the point of view of employment. Nevasa, Ahmadnagar and Sangamner are the main centres of the industry though there are many small establishments scattered at other taluka places in the district.

Raw materials: Tobacco is the main raw material, for bidi-making, the other articles required being pan (dry leaves), thread, packing paper, etc. Tobacco is imported mainly from Nipani and dry leaves are imported from Saurashtra and Bhandara. Thread and papers are available in the local markets.

Tools and equipment: A pair of scissors and furnace with metal trays for heating are required for bidi-making. For snuff-making or tobacco processing, stone-grinders are required.

Process of production: Most of the bidi-making work is done by hand process. For bidi-making dry leaves are soaked in water for 8 to 10 hours to make them soft. Then they are cut to the desired size by scissors. The tobacco in required quantity is put into the leaf. The leaf is wrapped by hand and thread is wound round it.

The mixture of gul, lime and sonakhar with water is sprinkled over the tobacco for making snuff. The mixture is kept in a basket. After getting specific taste, smell and colour, the mixture is taken out from the basket and is grinded in a stone-grinder and sieved through cloth to get snuff.

The gross output of tobacco manufacturers in 1961 was valued at Rs. 3,09,68,000 in the district.

Marketing: Bidis have a wide market in Maharashtra. Some factories send their bidis all over Maharashtra and also to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Manufacturers go from place to place for advertising and selling their products.

Employment: In 1966, as many as 9,369 persons were employed in these factories, of whom 5,529 were females and the rest were males. Workers are paid about Rs. 3.50 for making 1,000 bidis. A woman can make 1,000 bidis in a day. The daily wage-rate of a worker specialised in labelling is Rs. 5.

Finance: Bidi factories are owned by entrepreneurs who are able to raise their capital requirements. They have large units operating in the district. In 1961, the productive capital employed in this industry was Rs. 41,29,000.

There are no co-operatives in the field of bidi-making and tobacco processing. Small manufacturers have a considerable scope for expanding the business on co-operative lines.

Cotton textiles: Cotton spinning which is an important industry in the district developed mainly after the Second World War. This industry provides employment to thousands of workers in the district. There were 31 registered cotton textile factories in 1961, of which three were cotton textile mills. [The number of textile mills increased to four in December 1969 which provided employment to 260 workers.] One of the cotton textile mills, viz., Shrirampur Sahakari Kapus Vikri Sangha Ltd. was a large unit, with 12,000 spindles, and about 100 workers were engaged in it. The other two cotton mills were (i) Janardan Mahadeo Padval Mill, Sangamner, and (ii) Venkappa Gellana Zunzar Handloom Factory, Sangamner. This industry is concentrated at four centres, viz., Ahmadnagar, Sangamner Pathardi and Parner. During 1965-66 there were 962 hand-looms (out of a district total of 1,222) and 329 power-looms (out of a district total of 544) at Ahmadnagar town alone. It is thus the most important centre of the industry in the district. Of the total looms, a majority of them are located at Ahmadnagar. Sangamner is also an important centre of power-looms. Most of the spinning and weaving factories are however small units having not more than ten spindles. The availability of electricity and a good local market have accelerated the growth of this industry in this district.

Capital: The productive capital of the 31 registered factories was Rs. 14,06,000 in 1961. There were 34 co-operative handloom weavers' societies in 1966-67 in the district. The share-capital and working capital of these co-operative societies amounted to Rs. 30,02,000 and Rs. 83,41,000, respectively.

Employment: Most of the spinning and weaving factories in this district are seasonal which work for about 240 to 300 days in a year. The total employment in the registered factories in 1961 was 780. The total employment in all registered and unregistered cotton textile factories was as given below in the same year: —



Cotton spinning other than mills


Spinning and weaving mills


Cotton dyeing and bleaching


Cotton weaving in power-looms


Cotton weaving in hand-looms


Khadi textile in hand-looms


Printing of cotton textiles


Generally persons from the community of weavers (koshtis) are engaged in the hand-loom industry. However, Brahmins, Komtis, Kunbis, Malis and Musalmans are also engaged in the same. A skilled worker gets the daily wages between Rs. 5 and Rs. 6, and an unskilled worker gets between Rs. 3 and Rs. 4 per day in weaving factories. The wages for skilled workers varied in different factories. In some factories they are paid bonus also. The labour force is from the adjoining areas.

Raw material: The raw material used is cotton which is available in the local market and a part of which is imported from foreign countries. Bleaching and sizing materials are required, besides cloth, hooks, gunny bags, hemp twine, craft paper and paper for labels. The cotton yarn of 80'x80' count costs about Rs. 100 per bag of 5 kilograms. The raw material is available in the local markets.

Production: Yarn and cloth are the principal products of the industry. Some spinning factories produce only yarn which is sold to weaving factories. In 1965-66 the production of power-looms and hand-looms amounted to 82,35,360 metres of cloth. The cotton yarn produced in mills amounted to one lakh kilograms and the cloth produced to one lakh metres in 1964-65.

Fuel: Coal, oil, fire-wood and electricity are used as power and fuel.

Market: The produce is in demand at a number of markets in Maharashtra. A part of the produce is sold in the local market and the rest is sent to Bombay and other neighbouring districts.

Co-operation: There were 34 co-operative hand-loom societies in 1966 in this district which rendered service to the individual members as regards availability of capital, accessories, yarn and also marketing of produce.

Metal industry: There is only one metal factory in Ahmadnagar district which was established in 1958. This is a small-scale factory. The cost of plant and machinery of the factory is valued at Rs. 18,000. The machines are operated on electricity. The cost of furniture, fixtures and trade mark is estimated at Rs. 2,000. For further development this factory had obtained a loan of Rs. 7,000 from private sources in the year 1969-70.

Pig iron, iron bars, thick tin plates, nuts, bolts, screws, etc., are required as raw materials for the industry. Raw materials are available in the local market. The cost of raw materials required in 1969 was Rs. 15,000.

Eleven persons were engaged in this factory in 1965 and they were all skilled. The monthly wages paid to an average worker range between Rs. 75 and Rs. 100.

Electricity consumption of the factory amounted to Rs. 1,200 in 1969.

Bicycle stands and carriers are the products of the factory. The cost of a bicycle stand is about Rs. 15 and a carrier Rs. 25 per piece. The products are sold in the markets in Ahmadnagar district.

Gur-making industry: Gur-making is one of the most important industries in the district. In fact this agro-industry has contributed to the present economic prosperity in the northern talukas of the district. Besides the organised gur factories, there are a number of gur-manufacturing establishments, called gurhal, managed by individual sugar-cane-growers. It may, however, be noted that since the growth of sugar factories the number of gar-manufacturing establishments has decreased to some extent. This may be due to the non-availability of sugar-cane for gur-making as against sugar manufacturing which assures higher price to the agriculturist. Palm-gur making industries account for about 20 per cent of the total small-scale industries in the district. In 1965 the number of registered gur-making factories was 32 in the district. The industry is located mainly in the Kopargaon, Shrirampur, Rahuri, Nevasa, Ahmadnagar, Akola and Shrigonda talukas.

Tools and equipment: Cane-crushers, big frying vessels, furnace and buckets of the required size comprise the equipment of a factory. Cane-crushers are operated by diesel engines or by bullocks.

Process: Sugar-cane is crushed in the cane-crusher to separate the juice from the chaff. Then the juice is boiled in big frying vessels till it becomes thick. After boiling, the juice is poured in the buckets of required sizes to make bhellis, which are then marketed.

Employment: This industry is seasonal in nature and the factories work for about three to four months in a year. The organised sector of the industry provided employment to 572 persons in 1965. The daily wages paid to a worker amount to Rs. 5.

Production and market: Besides gur, khandsari and jaggery are also produced by the factories. Trade in gur is regulated under the Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act of 1963, and as such all the transactions are regulated and supervised by the Market Committees. [For details refer to the section on Regulated Markets in Chapter 6.] Gur produced in this district is exported to Jalgaon, Dhulia, Buldhana, Akola, Amravati, Thana and Bombay districts of Maharashtra and also to Gujarat region. The price of gur generally varies between Rs. 75 and Rs. 140 per quintal. The price of gur depends upon a number of factors, the principal factor being the price of sugar-cane.

Finance: Finance is necessary for purchasing sugar-cane and for paying the wage-bill of the workers employed. Most of the factory-owners raise their own capital. Some small gur-making factories obtain loans from the State Government under State Aid to Industries Act. The Maharashtra State Khadi and Village Industries Board had provided loans amounting to Rs. 29,200 for the small gur-making units in the district in 1969-70.

Co-operation: There are a few co-operative societies engaged in this business. Sugar-cane cultivators are members of these societies. These societies purchase the sugar-cane produced by the member-cultivators and manufacture gur to sell it in the market. The cultivators are extended benefits which include loans and a share in the profits.

Oil Extraction: As has already been stated earlier, agro-industries predominate in the district. Among such industries an important place in the economy of the district is occupied by the oil extraction industry which is an age-old industry. However, the mode of crushing was very crude, and the percentage yield of oil was also very small. The industry was monopolised by the Teli community in the past. With the disintegration of the self-sufficient character of the rural economy and with the acute shortage of certain commodities leading to price variations the persons who were following this occupation, felt the dire need for changing over to some other mode of oil extraction that would reduce the expenditure involved in crushing and would increase the percentage yield of oil.

The area under oil-seeds in Ahmadnagar district was 87,481 hectares in 1965-66. The percentage of total area under oil-seeds to the net total cropped area was 7.16 in the same year which shows that oilseeds are sown on a comparatively small area in the district. Among the oil-seeds safflower cultivation is more than that of ground-nut.

In 1956, there was only one oil-mill in the district, while in 1966 the number of working oil-mills rose to six.

Raw material: Safflower and ground-nut are the main raw materials for the extraction of edible oil. Besides, linseed, sesamum, cotton seed and other oil-seeds are also used as raw material available for oil extraction. These oil-seeds are grown in the surrounding area and are purchased in the markets in Ahmadnagar district. At the harvest time prices of oil-seeds are low and hence the merchants and big mill-owners make bulk purchases during the season.

Tools and equipment: The machines and appliances used are steam engines, boilers, expellers, rotary machines and filter presses.

Fuel: Electricity is very rarely used in oil-mills. Crude oil, coal, groundnut-husk, fire-wood and, in some cases, electricity are used as fuel.

Production: Besides ground-nut oil, safflower, sesamum, linseed and cotton seed oil is manufactured by the mills. Oil-cake which is used as a fertilizer and a cattle-feed is also highly in demand.

Marketing: Most of the oil is sold in the district. A small quantity is however exported to Bombay by some oil-mills. The entire safflower oil produced is utilised in the district.

Employment: This industry is more seasonal than perennial. The workers get employment for about six to seven months. Only 79 persons were engaged in oil-mills in this district in 1966. The daily wage rate paid to a worker was Rs. 3.50 in 1968-69. Very few females are employed in oil-mills.

Finance: Generally the rich merchants and mill-owners purchase the oil-seeds at the time of harvest when the prices are at their lowest and stock the oil-seeds in their own godowns.

Co-operation: There was one co-operative oil-mill in the district in 1961. Its membership comprised 54 societies and 760 individuals.

Cotton ginning and pressing: At the end of the 19th century cotton gins were found in about fifty villages in Shevgaon. The old Gazetteer of Ahmadnagar District shows that only 240 acres of land was utilised for cotton cultivation in 1884 in the district and the percentage of land under cotton was as low as 0.17. There were four ginning and pressing factories located at Ahmadnagar town with 268 workers in 1904, and 18 ginning and pressing factories with 1,035 workers in 1913, of which 12 ginning and pressing factories were registered under the Indian Factories Act. The number of establishments increased during the World War I. In 1923 there were 20 ginning and pressing factories in the district. The rising prices during the First World War (1914-1918) proved to be a blessing in disguise to the industry which made long strides in the period. However, it had to struggle hard during the Great Depression of the thirties. The industry also faced difficulties when the Government imposed restrictions upon the cultivation of commercial crops with a view to encourage the " Grow More Food Campaign " in 1940.

The rapid growth of all the industries relating to textile industries started after the Second World War, when most of the existing cotton ginning and pressing factories were established.

The availability of irrigation facilities encouraged the increase in the land under irrigated cotton of superior qualities, viz., Hybrid and Cambodia.

In 1958-59 there were 37 cotton ginning and pressing factories. The number increased to 41 in 1966. There were five large-scale ginning and pressing factories in the district in 1965-66, of which three were located at Ahmadnagar, and one each at Rahuri and Shrirampur. Ahmadnagar, Shevgaon and Shrirampur are the main centres of the industry though there are many small establishments scattered over other taluka places also.

Tools and equipment: Tools and equipment consist of steam or oil engines, boilers, single or double roller gins, cotton operators, drilling machines, high and low pressure presses, etc.

Fuel: Diesel oil, coal, fire-wood, ground-nut and safflower husk and electricity are used as fuel, though the use of electricity is very rare.

Process: Raw cotton is cleaned and ginned by single or double roller gins and cotton operators. By this process cotton lint is separated from the seeds. Then the cotton lint is taken to the high or low pressure presses where it is pressed by hoops (steal strips) in bales of rectangular size. After all the bales are packed they are sent to the textile mills.

Raw materials and marketing: The local merchants as well as those from Ahmadnagar, Shevgaon and Shrirampur send their cotton-produce to these factories for processing. Ginning and pressing is undertaken by the factories on a job work basis. After processing the merchants sell the cotton-bales to the local cotton textile mills and some of them send the bales to Bombay. The average charge for ginning was Rs. 13.50 per quintal of cotton and the average rate for pressing was Rs. 14.50 per bale of lint in 1969-70.

Employment: The workers employed in these factories comprise coolies, cotton carriers and pickers. These workers are mostly unskilled. The total employment in these factories in 1966 was 721 workers, whereas it was 1,189 in 1959. This shows that the strength of workers in these factories decreased during 1959 to 1966. Both male as well as female workers are engaged.

Ginning is done during the cotton season which begins in November and ends in April. This is a seasonal industry. Nine working ginning and pressing factories in Ahmadnagar district worked for less than sixty days in a year, and the number of workers engaged in them was about 372 in 1966.

The rate of daily wages paid to an unskilled worker is from Rs. 2.50 to Rs. 3 for men and Rs. 1.50 for women. For others, wages depend on the kind of work done. A skilled worker is generally paid between Rs. 4 and Rs. 6 daily.

Finance: The capital invested in these factories by the factory-owners is mostly from their own resources. Some factories avail of the facilities of Government loan. In 1961 there were two cotton ginning and pressing co-operative societies in the district.

Drugs and pharmaceuticals: There is only one factory in the district engaged in the manufacture of drugs and pharmaceuticals. It is located at Ahmadnagar. Both ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are manufactured in this factory. This is a very well-known pharmaceutical company in Maharashtra. The factory established in 1933 works throughout the year and makes considerable use of power-driven machinery. Its products are exported even to foreign countries. The factory manufactures 300 ayurvedic and allopathic preparations and is well-equipped.

Raw material: For the preparation of ayurvedic medicines gur, sugar, dry fruits, camphor, mercury, etc., constitute the main raw materials, some of which are available in the local market and some are imported from outside the district. Alcohol and chemical substances are necessary for allopathic medicines. Alcohol is now available from some of the sugar factories in the district. Other raw materials required for allopathic and ayurvedic medicines are imported from Bombay, Kolhapur, Madhya Pradesh and the Punjab.

Tools and equipment: The plant comprised various machines, such as, disintegrator, stewing and straining unit, one runner mill, mass roller machines, drying oven, tablet coating pan, monoblock pumping set, electric sealing machine, mill-making machine, bottle filling machine, mechanical stirrer, ball mill machine and motors. Most of the machines are power-driven.

Fuel: Electricity, gas, coke and fire-wood are used as fuel. The fuel bill amounted to Rs. 1,303 in 1969.

Employment: The total employment in this factory in 1969 was 162. Skilled as well as semi-skilled workers are employed in the factory. The number of qualified staff was only nine. As many as 98 daily workers were also engaged in addition to the regular workers in the factory. The rate of monthly emoluments paid to the qualified staff ranged between Rs. 137 and Rs. 1,100. The average rate of monthly wages paid to a skilled worker was Rs. 115 and to an unskilled worker Rs. 95.

Market: The products of this factory are marketed all over India, and even in Ceylon.

Finance: This is a joint stock company, the productive capital of which is Rs. 19,86,504. It also obtained loans from the Bank of Maharashtra and the Maharashtra State Finance Corporation. The net total sale of the products amounted to Rs. 49,38,324 and the gross profit to Rs. 1,15,862 in 1969.

Industrial alcohol: Industrial alcohol is another important industry which has developed due to availability of molasses from sugar factories. It is manufactured on a large scale by (a) Maharashtra Sugar Mills Ltd., Tilaknagar; (b) Government Central Distillery, Chitali; and (c) Somaiyya Organic Chemicals Ltd., Sakharwadi. The total installed capacity of all these units comes to about 5.3 million gallons per annum. [The factory statistics about these industrial units are however not available.] The Government Distillery at Chitali also manufactures spirit.

The Godavari Sugar Mills Ltd., Sakharwadi, manufactures acetic acid as a bye-product. It has an installed capacity of 1,872 tons of acetic acid per annum.

Engineering industries: This district is very backward as regards the development of engineering industries. In 1964 there were only two engineering units at Shrirampur in the small-scale sector and one at Pravaranagar in the large-scale sector. There is a wide scope for development of this industry in the district. The Federation of Co-operative Sugar Mills had proposed to start one large-scale engineering unit for the manufacture of sugar mill machinery and its spare parts. This federation also proposed to undertake manufacturing agricultural machinery like winnowing machines, harvesters, small tractors, etc.

Raw material: Iron and steel, brass, pig iron, cement, sand, mould and timber are used as the principal raw materials. Hessian, wooden cases, craft papers and straw boards are used as packing material. The other raw materials used include items like paints and varnishes, oxygen, borax, etc.

Fuel: Coal, coke, fire-wood, electricity, kerosene, petrol and crude oil are used as fuel and power, whose consumption has increased with the gradual development of the factory.

Products: The products of this industry are oil-engines (both horizontal and vertical), iron ploughs and similar type of agricultural implements, pumps, gates, septic tanks and base plates. The products have a wide market in Maharashtra State.

Employment: In 1966-67 this industry provided employment to 586 persons. Both skilled and unskilled labourers are engaged by the concerns.

Finance: The owners of the engineering units were found to raise the capital on their own. Some establishments obtained loans from Government.

Chemical fertilisers manufacturing : In keeping with the progressive measures of agricultural development and propaganda for adoption of scientific methods of cultivation the demand for chemical fertilisers is increasing at a very fast rate. The scarcity of green manures has also been responsible for more and more reliance on chemical fertilisers. The expansion of sugarcane cultivation and irrigation facilities have also contributed to the growth of demand for fertilisers.

The Godavari Pravara Canal Co-operative Purchase and Sale Union in Kopargaon taluka is engaged in the manufacture of chemical fertilisers which are sold under the trade name of 'Laxmi' brand fertilisers. This factory is established on co-operative basis.

Finance: The share-capital of the factory by the end of 1968-69 was Rs. 4,06,375. The total funds at the end of the same year stood at Rs. 25,46,678, while the liquid capital was Rs. 1,26,04,769.

Tools and equipment: This concern uses power and diesel machines. The machinery of the factory is worth about Rs. 12,33,000.

Raw material: Groundnut husk, phosphate, sulphate, nitrate, ammonium sulphate, uria, calcium nitrate, potash, nitrate phosphate, gypsum, sportin, dolament, ammonium phosphate, bones and other organic and inorganic substances are required as raw materials for the manufacture of fertilisers.

Production: Superphosphate, sulphate nitrate, calcium nitrate, ammonium phosphate and various mixture fertilisers are produced by the factory. The production of fertilisers was 8,317 metric tonnes in 1968-69 which was worth about Rs. 74,76,448.

Employment: About 137 persons were engaged in this concern in 1968-69. The annual wage-bill paid to the workers was Rs. 3,32,125 in 1968-69.

Market: There is a very wide demand for Laxmi fertilisers, and the society proposes to expand its production capacity to meet the growing demand.

Printing, publishing and allied industries: The expansion of cultural and educational activities in the district has given rise to a number of printing presses. There were 88 printing presses in 1966-67 in the district. The printing presses run throughout the year though the job work procured by them may vary seasonally.

In Ahmadnagar district this industry is mostly centralised at Ahmadnagar, Kopargaon, Shrirampur, Sangamner, Rahuri and Nevasa. Four daily newspapers, 17 weeklies and two Marathi magazines are published in Ahmadnagar district.

Tools and equipment: The equipment and machinery of the various concerns differed according to the magnitude of their investment. The printing machinery comprised cylinder printing machine, automatic cylinder, letter-press printing machine, treadle machine and hand presses. The binding machinery included stitching, cutting, ruling, perforating, punching, folding, numbering, eye-letting and card-board cutting machines.

Fuel: Most of the printing presses operate on electricity. Some of them are small hand presses which do not require any power.

Raw material: Paper, varnish, spirit, wax, printing ink, type metal, stationery and binding materials are required by the printing presses, which are imported from Pune, Bombay and Madras.

Production: Printing work consists of litho printing, offset printing and block printing. Some establishments also undertake printing of books, magazines, note-books, bill-books, cash-memos, labels, letterheads and hand-bills. The total value of the output of these concerns amounted to Rs. 71,000 in 1966.

Employment: The total employment in printing, publishing, binding and allied industries was 305 in 1961. Most of them were male workers. In 1966 there were 154 workers in the six registered printing and publishing establishments. The rate of daily wages paid to an average skilled worker amounts to Rs. 5 while an unskilled worker is paid about Rs. 3.50.

Finance: Most of the concerns have raised their own capital while a few could secure loans from the Government.

Industrial estates: There are three co-operative industrial estates in Ahmadnagar district which are located at Shrirampur, Kopargaon and Ahmadnagar. All the three industrial estates are in an embryonic stage. Table No. 6 gives the information about industrial estates in Ahmadnagar district ending March 1970.



Area of estate

Proposed sheds

Completed sheds

Allotted sheds

Sheds started working































Share capital

Government contribution

Life Insurance Corporation loan

Number of workers

Sheds under construction





























Kopargaon Industrial Estate Co-operative Society: Location of this industrial estate is quite suitable as regards availability of easy transport facility by rail as well as road routes. It covered an area of 41 acres on which 17 sheds were proposed to be built in 1963. Subsequently, however, the area of this estate was expanded to 46 acres and 24 gunthas. Government contributed Rs. 68,800 towards the share-capital of this co-operative venture as against the contribution from members amounting to Rs. 1,55,000. Life Insurance Corporation has also sanctioned loans to the extent of Rs. 1,87,487 for this estate. The estate is useful to the members in various ways, such as receiving work orders, increasing their turn-over, making available the raw materials and capital required by them.

Shrirampur Co-operative Industrial Estate: The location of this industrial estate is also quite suitable for establishment of small industries. It is served by rail as well as road transport facilities. It was proposed to Cover an area of about twenty acres for construction of 53 sheds for various industries like ginning, cement pipes, furniture manufacture and repairing work-shops. Share-capital of Rs. 86,000 was collected from members till 1969-70, while the Government contributed Rs. 45,100. A loan of Rs. 1,32,000 was also obtained from the Life Insurance Corporation of India. The area to be covered by this estate was subsequently increased to 23 acres and 14 gunthas.

Ahmadnagar Co-operative Industrial Estate: This industrial estate is also in an embryonic stage. There are only four sheds available in this estate and it occupies an area of about forty acres. It had proposed to start six more units in 1970-71.