sugarcane.jpg

 

Sugar Cane

 

Sugarcane, or sugar cane, is one of the several species of tall plants which originated in South Asia, and is now grown widely for sugar production. Here is an interesting fact: sugar cane is actually a species of grass – the largest grass in the world! Here’s another interesting fact: sugar is the largest crop in the world in terms of production, with almost 2 billion tons of the stuff produced each year. Clearly, the world has a ‘sweet tooth’.

 

The Persians, followed by the Greeks, discovered the famous "grass that produces honey without bees" in India around 500 BC. They began to plant and grow the crop, but in those times, it was a rare and expensive product. In the 18th century, sugarcane plantations [as in the above picture] began in many parts of the world, and the need for workers caused great movements of people, including black slaves from Africa. This is because harvesting sugar cane needs many people - that is, it is very labour intensive. Even today, half of the sugar produced in the world is still harvested by hand.

 

In the developed world, mechanical harvesting is used, where special machines cut the cane and stack and load it into boxes. Brazil leads the world in sugarcane production, by far, with India second, and China third. But after getting the sugar cane, it must go through another long process. This first involves crushing it, to remove the juice. This juice is then refined into raw sugar, which is further refined into brown sugar, which can be refined yet again to white sugar – which is the sugar most people are familiar with.

 

Question Time

 

What sort of plant is sugar cane? ………………………………..…………………………

 

How much sugar is produced each year? …………………………..……………..……...

 

Where did sugar come from in the very beginning? ………...…….…………….……….

 

Why did sugar production cause people to move from country to country? …………..

 

Which country produces the most sugar? …………………………………………………

 

 

Word-Learning Time

 

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

 

To originate

A crop

To be labour intensive

To harvest

To crush       

 

By the way, you can find out more about me at www.aisielts.com .

 

 

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