chapter  21
10 Pages


Sugarcane is native to tropical swampy regions of Yuanan province in South China and Assam in North-east India. This region is supposedly primary center of genetic diversity for Saccharum species. Sugarcane cultivation was in vogue in Persia and Greece during 4-6 century B.C [1]. Arab traders aided the spread of sugarcane into Mediterranean region. Regions such as Iraq, Egypt, North Africa and Andalusia received sugarcane between 8 and tenth century A.D. [2]. Arabs had set up several sugar refining and production factories by 1200A.D. Sugar refining techniques were introduced to China through voyages of Buddhist monks. Chinese travelers/envoys visiting India during sixth century introduced sugarcane native to Indian plains and sugar crystallization technology into the Chinese mainland [1]. Crusaders from European kingdoms transshipped sugar from Arabian region to European mainland during 12th century [3].