Sugarcane cultivation dates back over 4,000 years. It was first domesticated in New Guinea, and its cultivation spread to other parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

It is believed that Alexander the Great encountered sugarcane during his conquest of India in the 4th century BCE. He is credited with introducing sugarcane to the Western world.

During the medieval period, Islamic scholars made significant advancements in sugarcane cultivation and processing. They developed innovative techniques for extracting sugar from sugarcane, which laid the foundation for modern sugar production.

The demand for sugar in Europe during the colonial era led to the establishment of vast sugar plantations in the Americas. This, in turn, fueled the transatlantic slave trade, as enslaved Africans were forcibly brought to work on these plantations.

By the 18th century, sugar was a major driver of the economies of European colonial powers, such as Spain, Portugal, France, and England. The profits from sugar production played a crucial role in the development of these empires.

These historical facts highlight the profound impact that sugarcane and sugar production had on world history, from its ancient origins to its central role in global trade and economic systems.