Thursday, December 1, 2011

Belize 1.1 million ton sugar crop opens this week.


From Love FM TV

November 30, 2011

Despite the challenges the Sugar Industry is faced with the 2011 / 2012 Sugar Cane Crop got off to a good start today as Corozal Farmers began delivery. John Gillett is BSI’s Factory Manager.

John Gillett – Factory Manager, BSI
“Shortly milling operations will start. Again we are making delivery by appointment this year in an effort to maintain or enhance the cane quality. We are very much ready today. This is the most state of readiness that we have ever been in, the factory I ready to go today.”

Last year there were numerous break downs due to the linkage between BELCOGEN and BSI. This year Gillett says this year should be better.

John Gillett – Factory Manager, BSI
“We have done everything at BELCOGEN to make sure that doesn’t happen but remember we are dealing with equipment and while we can say the equipment is well serviced anything can go wrong with them but I would expect that the problems that we experienced last year, those we will not have. Normally a factory would run 82% time efficiency and we believe that we will have that 82% overall time efficiency meaning that of the available hours the percentage of time you are milling will be 82% and we can guarantee that we will have more or less in that range or even better.”

And while the efforts are being made at the mill, the farmers themselves are doing what they can to ensure good cane is delivered this crop. Alfredo Ortega is the vice chairman of the BSCFA’s Committee of management.

Alfredo Ortega – Vice Chairman, BSCFA “Well really what we are seeing is that we will have more cane than last year. We are seeing that there will be an increase, even though that there were problems with the froghopper that many farmers had suffered. Even with the intervention that the Cane Farmers Association had done under the Environmental Department there was still some problems faced by some farmers but even with that we are seeing an increase because we have managed to see that based on the fertilizer that was given in February and the farmers were able to spread those fertilizer on their fields we have seen that there has been an increase in yields. The Association will be holding a productivity survey very shortly, I think they will be starting as of tomorrow and that will give a clear indication as what is the percentage of increment that we will be having for this crop.”

Sugar cane delivery by appointment has proven to contribute to the quality of cane being delivered to the mill. This year it is expected that the tons cane per tons sugar ratio will be 9.35 as opposed to 8.57 last year.

John Gillett – Factory Manager, BSI
“We have had various estimates ranging from 1 million to 1.2128 million tons of cane available. We have based the targets on 1.1million tons of cane with the cane quality we should produce in the range of 118,000 tons of sugar. We hope that we have the cane so as to make that production a reality.”

Farmers are being encouraged to deliver fresh clean cane to the mill.

Alfredo Ortega – Vice Chairman, BSCFA
“This year we are giving more rules and regulations to it and more power to the field officers so that the farmers who are not cleaning their cane well, those farmers will have to clean the cane so that they can deliver it to the mill. We hope that with this new policies that will be put in place, this will give more courage to those farmers that are good farmers that have a continuous good practice in harvesting to pull those who are not doing that good to jump into that ship so that all of us can be in one ship delivering good clean material to the mill.”

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