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Apr 17, 2020

The Sugar Industry Preparing for Another Drought

The 2019 extended drought has had an adverse impact on the agriculture industry in Belize; in fact, some farmers are still reeling from it.  It caused a significant drop in production and another drought is expected this year. So how is the sugar industry preparing for the months ahead? Communications and Government Affairs Officer William Neal of A.S.R./B.S.I. says that there is a silver lining since  the drought actually yielded a better sugar cane quality at the mills, even though there was a reduction in the product reaching the factory. He says that they are using the experience to thread the upcoming crop.

 

William Neal

William Neal, Communications & Government Affairs, Belize Sugar Industries Limited

“Honestly, because we are a rain-fed industry, it is going to be a challenge. We are going to depend on faith and hope that it is not as bad as last year. We saw a reduction of about thirty percent in terms of production for last year. If we have that kind of a drought again and there is a further decrease in terms of production, it will impact us very heavily and our production. However, we have already put in place some mitigation in terms of the impacts from last year. So we are not sure what it is going to look like, but we will continue to work. One of the upsides from last year was it was dry for so long that the quality of the sugar was far improved. So we are hoping that that will be at least an upside because we started this year where there was a lot of rains and lot of challenges in terms of the production and getting the high quality cane coming in. But we are hoping now that that is behind us and we are hoping to make the best of the situation.”


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