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Screen_Shot_2015-12-07_at_8.20.44_PMThe 2015/2016 crop season got under way this morning but unlike other years, it saw a slow delivery. This year there was not a long queue. The first to make deliveries were cane farmers of the San Estevan Branch who fall under the Progressive Sugar Cane Farmers Association.

The slow delivery, from all indications, was due to weather and sugar road conditions.

Jose Novelo- Chairman SCPC

“It is a function of the wet period even the cane fields are soaked with water so all those contribute to having a slow start so to speak in terms of delivery but we expect that this will improve, generally speaking with the weather patterns that has changed over the last three years; December, January has been the pretty well but as an industry we had no choice but to start as early as possible because of all the stand over plan cane that was left in the field, all the stand over Raton , all the new cane fields that are starting to come we have to bring this industry back to its normal cycle where we start milling either in late November or early December depending on the weather conditions but it is important that we start early so that we can finish under good weather conditions because June and July will obviously be even wetter than what we are experiencing right now.”

There is no doubt that the terrible conditions of the sugar road must be addressed, after all, it is a problem cane farmers face every year. According to Chairman of the Sugar Cane Production Committee, Jose Novelo, it is a problem that will be addressed under the Strategic Development Plan.

Jose Novelo- Chairman SCPC

“You might be aware that with development that are more roads that are open and the heavy vehicular on the roads what we know is that the roads conditions tend to get damaged pretty fast.”

Apart from the sugar roads, also of concern to cane farmers is the delivery system utilized this year or we should say how the quotas were distributed this year. While some farmers saw an increase in their delivery numbers, others saw a reduction. And while this is causing controversy, Novelo says at the end everybody will benefit.

Jose Novelo- Chairman SCPC

“We took all the deliveries from the 2015 and we adjusted them by 10% and it is based on the drought that we all experienced, to that amount we added the tonnage from the reports that farmers made on stand over cane and plan cane now when we added all of that we came out with 1.6 million tons roughly now we know for a fact that the factory can only take 1.3 million tons and so as a result of that then we made a further adjustment by 20% to ensure that every single cane famer whether you got an increase or you got a reduction to have the same opportunity to deliver cane to the factory, they will deliver approximately 80% of the quota that was allocated to them bearing in mind that the PE is about 1.619 million tons and the factory can only take 1.3 but  we made some adjustments last week where now we are saying that the factory will now grind 1.3 to 1.9 million tons based on a 27 week crop and what we are saying that if we start early enough which we have now and towards the end if we have good weather conditions we expect that the factory will be grinding even more so that whatever amount of cane is being left in the fields are as little as possible.”

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