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Sugar cane farmers looking for extension of crop season

Arturo Cantun reporting …

“Belize Sugar Industries, BSI, has broken the all-time record of sugar production in the history of Belize.  The record was broken this past Saturday when the factory surpassed the 125,769 metric tons of sugar produced in the crop of 1997. Up until six this morning which marks 149 days of milling, a total of 1,056, 544 tons of cane have been ground and the sugar produced is 128,215 superseding the record production which was attained 18 years ago.  Week 18 registered the lowest TCTS in the history as well with 8.03 tons of cane for the production of one ton of sugar.  Nonetheless, with all this good news, the rains have come and since the beginning of the month, or week 19, there has been a steady decrease in the quality of sugar production with an increase in mud levels.  For the past three weeks of production TCTS has gone from the lowest in the history at 8.03 to 9.44 when week 21 concluded last Sunday. This afternoon the main stakeholders in the industry met to discuss the developments in the 2015 cane harvest season.  It is expected that a possible date for the close of the crop season will also be discussed.  The discussion on a possible crop end date is expected to be contentious among the different sugar industry interested parties because while BSI has achieved it projected sugar production for the season, cane farmers claim that more than 20% of mature cane still remains in the field waiting to be harvested.  Cane farmers have told LOVE NEWS they hope the cane harvest season can go until the end of July in order to harvest as much of their crop.  At the beginning of this year’s sugar cane crop season BSI projected to mill 1.098 million tons of cane and produce 122,00o tons of sugar. We will continue monitoring the situation in the sugar industry.

The meeting ended late this evening and July 7 has been set for the end of the crop season.