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May 31, 2013

Cane farmer celebrate successful crop year 2012

And if the mood today seemed jubilant, there was good reason. Last year’s crop season was considered an exception one, with unprecedented production and quality of cane. And this year’s figures are even more impressive. That is cause for much excitement among the five thousand six hundred cane-farmers, the association which governs them and Belize Sugar Industries Limited. Mike Rudon has the story behind the sweet success.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Last year’s sugar cane crop season yielded exceptional results, and this year was even better with an additional eight thousand tons of cane delivered and processed. The figures also show a higher grinding rate and a lower percentage of mud in the cane. Alfredo Ortega is the Chairman of the Committee of Management of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, and attributes the success to a better relationship between the farmers and the factory and also a little something extra from the farmers.


Alfredo Ortega, Chairman, BSCFA

“The cooperation of farmers most of all whereby farmer were really cooperative in bringing fresh and mature cane to the mill. But we got to say thanks to god because of the weather that we experienced this year. We had a very dry season all along the crop. We got rains in the very end of crop. But this really gives us the opportunity to finalize. We had a good crop where farmers didn’t have to spend more in regards to a rainy period. All in all,  it was the cooperation that the farmers that brought us to this point.”


And one factor which has also contributed big time last year and this one is the increased quality of cane delivered to the factory, a testament in part to the programs being implemented and regulated by the BSCFA.


Leocario Keme, Chairman, Finance Committee, BSCFA

“One of the main improvement we can see is the implementation of the cane quality program. That from last year, we can put a figure on what is being given back or returned to the farmer in maybe a  figure of twenty-five dollars per ton of cane on his investment. Previously we had a price of forty-five or forty-six dollars on average per ton of cane. Last year, we got seventy-two as average.”


The BSCFA is not resting on its laurels, but is already looking at ways of increasing production so that farmers and the factory will meet at a mutual high point.


Alfredo Ortega

“We have sat down together, we have presently a team where we are developing a production plan cause we wouldn’t want to reach to a point where we might have an over production and the mill has not yet increased its capacity. So we want to plan our production regards to also the advancing capacity to the mill. So that is why we have garnered together and our technical team: Jose Novelo, Mister Lima that represents ASR in the production team. So our goal is to reach…whenever the factory reaches to the maximum capacity of two million that we can also reach to that production stage in delivering those two million to the mill. But not only in trying to increase the production to that stage, but also see how we could coordinate ourselves to make that production reach to the mill in a timely manner.”


And just like the BSCFA, the farmers who are the  heart and soul of the industry are already preparing land for the new crop, and Ortega says the momentum is catching on.


Alfredo Ortega

“Farmers have already jumped into the ship and trying to renovate their own cane fields in trying to increase yields so that we can reach the production stage. So farmers are really engaged at this point and I am very proud and happy on how farmers are performing in the harvesting program that we have applied and also now that farmers are doing what they have to increase productivity.”


Ramon Aban – Chairman, San Joaquin Branch

“When we finish the crop, I can tell you that we will be having more of the one point five zero ton of cane. And I am proud to say that thanks god that we had more cane this year. And next year, if nothing noh happen, we have have more to deliver to the factory.”


Mike Rudon for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Cane farmer celebrate successful crop year 2012”

  1. Bear says:

    I’m not in the sugar business, but to an outside observer, it looks like the foreigners have brought some expertise, efficiency, and good business practices that made this year one of the best in a long while. I’m happy to see that because it means more prosperity for our Belizean farmers and workers.

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