The Cane Quality Improvement Program (CQIP) became effective in the 2011 crop season with the commitment of all sugar industry stakeholders to enhance the quantity and quality of sugar production through the implementation of better practices in the cane harvesting and delivery systems.
The CQIP is coordinated and implemented by the Sugar Cane Production Committee (SCPC) with the support of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), cane farmers, and Belize Sugar Industries (BSI). For the past three (3) crop seasons since the initiation of the CQIP, the performance of the sugar industry has shown success and significant progress when compared with the previous crop seasons of 2009 and 2010. The graphs and table below present performance statistics of the sugar industry for the crops from 2009 to 2013.
The introduction of a relative quality-based cane payment system has made the program a success since the cane purity has improved. Although this relative payment is not ideal, it has motivated farmers to organize themselves to deliver fresh, mature and clean cane to the factory through improvements made in their burning, cutting, loading and transporting practices. There has also been improved synchronization between the demand and supply of cane at the factory where each reaping group is assigned a daily tonnage eliminating the long delivery queues, which reduces Kill-to-Mill time. In addition, a key objective is to eliminate the need to stock cane in the yard.
The SCPC takes this opportunity to commend all cane farmers for adopting improved harvesting practices for the past 3 years yielding positive results. While we have improved quality from 2010, there is still more to do to organize and coordinate the harvesting and delivery efforts to stimulate better quality and overall revenues. The SCPC also applauds the good performance of the factory which has been milling exceptionally well with more cane per day than anticipated.