Agriculture, Research and Development

Betting on the latest technology projects, agriculture 4.0 and seeking alternative products derived from sugarcane so as not to depend on international prices, are some of the lines of action on which the Guatemalan sugar sector will focus in the coming years.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Although sugar prices in the international market have improved between October 2020 and April 2021, in previous years there was a downward trend that pressured mills to explore new market opportunities for sugarcane-derived products.

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Guatemalan businessmen foresee that in the coming months the price of sugar will reach a high peak and then fall again, a situation that forces them to bet on alternative projects.

Luis Miguel Paiz, general manager of the Asociacion de Azucareros de Guatemala (Asazgua), told that "... 'we are investigating products from the sugar cane juice distillation, the production of polylactic acid, agricultural residues for the production of electricity to co-generate energy that have a higher caloric potential, and we have been working on products such as sorbitol and xylitol that can be derived from sugar cane and can generate added value to the business, there are several products and projects that are being analyzed."

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According to the director of Asazgua, two years of research have already been completed in the country to develop new products.

Because in the country they are using varieties of sugarcane that in comparison to previous agricultural cycles improve productivity per hectare, at present the mills have reduced the area that they had rented.

Paiz explained that "... there are varieties of sugarcane with higher yields, and in the end to produce the same amount of sugar less land area is needed, and they are more productive varieties". 56% of the sugarcane area planted in Guatemala is taken up by varieties developed in Cengicana.

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