Engineer Edwin Delgado receives the Order of Sugar of Merit

Engineer Edwin Delgado receives the Order of Sugar of Merit

The Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association –Asazgua- delivered on November Wednesday 18th the “Order of Sugar of Merit” to Engineer Edwin Delgado, a professional, who in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, made the proposal and later used his ingenuity and knowledge to design and build the first intensive care mechanical respirator created in Central America, with the purpose of saving many lives.

The Order of Sugar of Merit is an award that recognizes illustrious Guatemalans who with their ingenuity, commitment and dedication stand out and contribute to the well-being and development of Guatemala.

Throughout the history of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry, brilliant and visionary minds have stood out, who with innovation have promoted the growth and development of Guatemala and the sector.

Engineer Delgado received the Order of Sugar of Merit accompanied by his wife Renata Fernandez, with whom he is recognized as a man and a professional, passionate and committed to the health and life of Guatemalans and who with his work contributes to the welfare and development of the country.

“We are very proud that this mechanical respirator was born in the heart of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry. We are honored to present this day the Order of Sugar of Merit to Engineer Edwin Delgado, who led this important project for Guatemala”, said the president of Asazgua, Alfredo Vila.

About Engineer Edwin Delgado

 

Engineer Edwin Delgado

Edwin Orlando Delgado Catalan is originally from the department of Quiche, Guatemala. He graduated as an Electronic Engineer from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala and continued his postgraduate studies in Network Management at the Francisco Marroquin University. In addition, he has a master’s degree in Business Administration from INCAE and Automation studies from Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico.

He has 35 years of experience at La Union Sugar Mill, where he works as Superintendent of Automation and Industrial Development. During his career, he has developed complex automation systems to increase the efficiency of the different production processes, contributing to the Guatemalan Sugar Industry.

Joaquin 1.0, pride of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry

When the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic began, Eng. Delgado, along with other experts, decided to take on the challenge of creating respirators to save Guatemalans lives. In March, with the approval and support of the directors of La Union Sugar Mill, the project began, which consisted of the design, development and creation of the first mechanical respirator for intensive care produced in Guatemala that would be called: Joaquin 1.0.

For this task, a group of professionals from the La Union Sugar Mill and from other sugar mills were brought together to created parts, developed software and developed electronic systems. Doctors and pulmonologists also participated in this process, who contributed with their experience and knowledge in this type of apparatus.

Engineer Edwin Delgado receives the Order of Sugar of Merit

“For me it is a great pride and from today it is a real treasure. I am proud to belong to the Guatemalan Sugar Industry, which has always shown that ideas are valuable and provides everything necessary for them to be carried out”, said Delgado, during the award ceremony.

Asazgua will donate 35 Joaquin 1.0 mechanical respirators to the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, which will be financed by the Guatemalan Sugar Industry to save the lives of COVID-19 patients and when the pandemic ends, they will be used by future patients.

Zafra 2020/21 begins, a season of sweetness and development

Zafra 2020/21 begins, a season of sweetness and development

The Zafra has started with a “Return to work Protocol with Occupational Health and Safety measures against COVID-19”.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry began the 2020/21 harvest under strict measures for the prevention of Covid-19 with the commitment to guarantee the supply of sugar, alcohol, and energy for millions of families.

The Zafra begins each year in November and ends in May, a time during which economic reactivation is propitiated in the South of Guatemala, due to the generation of jobs and the hiring of hundreds of suppliers of products and services.

Measures that sugar mills have adopted in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic

The harvest Season in Guatemala means development

The production of food and energy are essential; therefore, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry is committed to Guatemala and the world to guarantee the supply of sugar, alcohol, and electricity.

The sugar mills continue their operations under strict preventive measures to provide a safe work environment, following Occupational Health and Safety protocols and the dispositions of the authorities.

In order to maintain sanitary measures, there is the: “Return to work protocol with Occupational Health and Safety measures against COVID-19“, which has been designed and formulated by the Guatemalan Sugar Industry with COVID-19 preventive measures to apply in administrative, agricultural and industrial areas.

This protocol was created based on the Presidential Provisions, the Protocol of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS), the Guatemalan Social Security Institute (IGSS), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO). Each sugar mill adopts and adapts it to its daily operation, within the terms of the Law and the Epidemiological Surveillance System of the Occupational Health and Safety Union Policy.

Production projection for the 2020/21 Zafra

For the 2020/21 Zafra, the production expectation will remain between 2.6 and 2.7 metric tons of sugar.

According to the projection, the production of the 2020/21 Zafra in quintals is equivalent approximately to 57 and 58 million quintals of sugar. Guatemala is the third country with the highest productivity in the world, obtaining an average of 10.6 tons of sugar for each hectare of cane cultivated.

For this harvest, the cultivated area is 250,662 hectares and according to the Forest Cover Map prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food -MAGA-, the cultivation of sugarcane represents 3.3% of the arable area of the country.

During the 2019/20 harvest, 56 thousand direct jobs and 280 thousand indirect jobs were generated, benefiting 90% of the municipalities of Guatemala with the economic footprint of Sugar.

Guatemalan Sugar in the world

Guatemala is the second largest sugar exporter in Latin America and the fourth worldwide; it also has the third place in productivity at the global level with respect to obtaining sugar per hectare of cultivated cane.

The main export markets in the 2019/20 Zafra were Canada, the United States, Chile, Mauritania, Taiwan, China, New Zealand, Haiti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Senegal. For this year, countries such as Romania and Equatorial Guinea are added, to which sugar from Guatemala will be exported for the first time.

These exports, added to those of alcohol and molasses, represent 7% of the country’s exports in 2019, according to figures from the Bank of Guatemala.

Renewable energy production

There are 11 sugar mills, and they operate in the departments of Escuintla, Santa Rosa, Suchitepequez and Retalhuleu. In addition to producing sugar, they generate renewable electricity. During the previous harvest, the mills served up to 35% of the national energy demand.

Renewable energy from sugarcane bagasse

During the 2019/20 harvest, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry generated 1,991 gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable energy; 8.6% more than what was generated during the previous season 2018/19, when 1,834 GWh were generated. Contributing to the diversification of the energy matrix and the stability of the electricity rate in the country.

Green fertilizer for environmental sustainability

Crotalaria flower

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry maintains its commitment to environmental sustainability, so through the Guatemalan Sugarcane Research and Training Center -Cengicaña-, have implemented the green fertilizer program.

Green fertilizer is part of the healthy soil program that some sugar mills have. This ecological measure consists of planting legumes that provide nitrogen to the soil reducing the use of commercial products.

In addition, it integrates crop rotation, intercropping, pest management, and soil conservation and nutrition in an environmentally friendly way.

Legumes and crop rotation

Legumes at Ingenio La Union
Photo courtesy of: Ingenio La Union

The cultivation of legumes as green fertilizer is a frequent practice in agriculture, in the case of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry crotalaria, a legume that produces a yellow flower, is used. Crotalaria is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family Fabaceae (subfamily Faboideae) commonly known as rattlepods.

Sugarcane cultivation is renewed every 5 years to maintain its yield and in the ideal areas, this renewal is used to nourish the soil with leguminous plants which grow and remain in the field between 6 and 8 months. Approximately 3 thousand hectares have been planted with crotalaria.

Legumes incorporate organic matter into the soil that provides nutrients, mainly nitrogen, one of the most important for plants and that will be used by subsequent crops.

Soil conservation and pest management

Legumes are the only group of plants that can capture nitrogen from the air and incorporate it into their organism. When they are mixed with the soil, they contribute organic matter that improves the texture and structure of the soil. In addition, it promotes the proliferation of microorganisms that are beneficial for crops.

Crop rotation also helps in pest control because, by exchanging the cane for legumes, the life cycle of the insects that feed on the sugar cane is broken.

All these good practices are promoted by Cengicaña with the aim of integrally using biological elements that are sustainable with the environment for the cultivation of sugar cane.