Despite an almost two months delay in the start of the 2015 Sugar Cane Crop Season, this year’s harvest period has proven to be not only a good one but by far the best in the history of the sugar industry in Belize. Today the Sugar Industry Control Board released the official figures for this year’s crop which started on January 20. There was a high sense of uncertainty as farmers and the mill feared a rainy season would result in great losses. But after 24 weeks of harvesting the three main stakeholders in the industry are congratulating each for the best crop in the history of sugar production in Belize. Director of SIRDI, Marcos Osorio attributes the stupendous yield to several factors.
But despite the good news, there are reaping groups that have expressed dissatisfaction as there are a number of farmers who delivered less than half of their harvest; in some cases farmers were not able to deliver a stick of cane. Jose Novelo chairs the Sugar Cane Production Committee and told us they are currently gathering information to determine the exact amount of cane that remained standing and the plan to address the issue.
Novelo said that for future crop seasons SCPC will be monitoring individual reaping groups to ensure that all farmers get a fair chance to harvest at least 80 percent of their mature cane. It is hoped that by August, the Sugar Industry Management Information System, SIMIS, would be completed with precise data that indicates the actual quantity and location of cane in production. This will serve for better decision making by all stakeholders in the industry. Chairman of the Sugar Industry Control Board, Gabriel Martinez says that for next four months before the start of the next crop season the works doesn’t stop: as matter of fact it becomes more intense as all want to match or supersede the record breaking crop attained this year.
When the crop season closed on Sunday a total of 1,186,153 tons of sugar was delivered to the BSI factory. The two record breaking figures are the total amount of sugar produced which stands at 142,533 tons. The other figure is the lowest TCTS that is ton of cane needed to produce a ton of sugar which this year stands at 8.32.