The Guatemalan Sugar Industry will reach in 2022 more than 7.7 million trees reforested

The Guatemalan Sugar will reforest 900 thousend trees in 2022

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry together with the Private Institute for Climate Change Research -ICC- and local partners carried out the program for the recovery and conservation of forests for the eleventh consecutive year, with the planting of 900,000 trees in 400 hectares of land with species such as: cedar, mahogany, Ear Pod Tree, Picconia excelsa, pine, cypress, cocoa, among others.

“With this year’s reforestation plan, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry will have contributed to the planting of 7.7 million trees since the beginning of the Program in 2011. As part of our commitment to the environment, during these 11 years we have joined efforts with communities, local authorities, and organizations, for the conservation and recovery of forests on riverbanks and upper parts of basins”, commented Alfredo Vila, President of the Association of Sugar Producers of Guatemala -Asazgua-.

The Guatemalan Sugar will reforest 900 thousend trees in 2022The Reforestation Plan began with the planting of 300 trees on a farm Called Belem, jurisdiction of Masagua, Escuintla, located at 370 kilometers (230 miles) in the south of Guatemala City. With this activity, the reforestation season officially begins, and will last until August.

It will be carried out in 10 departments of the country: Santa Rosa, Chimaltenango, Escuintla, Suchitepéquez, Retalhuleu, Jalapa, Sololá, Sacatepéquez, Jutiapa and Quetzaltenango.

The production of the trees was in more than 50 nurseries installed in 30 municipalities in 10 departments of the country, “these nurseries are municipal, regional, business owned and community owned,” explained Dr. Alex Guerra, director of the ICC. “The ICC provides seeds, supplies and technical advice in conjunction with INAB,” he added. These is with the financing provided by the Guatemalan Sugar Industry.

More than 310 hectares of land have been reforested by the Guatemalan Sugar Industry initiative on the banks of the rivers on the South of Guatemala alone, equivalent to more than 430 soccer fields, creating gallery forests and biological corridor.

These forests on the banks of rivers help water recharge, soil conservation by preventing erosion and are also natural barriers that prevent flooding and are also home to species of plants and animals.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry reuses waste as organic fertilizer to conserve soil

The Guatemala Sugar Industry has relied on research and science to be more environmentally sustainable for the planting and harvesting of sugarcane. An example of this is the development and implementation of practices for the conservation and sustainable use of soil.

practicas de conservacion de suelosSince 2012, the Sugar Industry has worked hand in hand with the Guatemalan Center for Research and Training of Sugar Cane -Cengicaña- and the Private Institute for Research on Climate Change -ICC- on practices to stop or prevent erosion, conserve soil, and improve their fertility and productivity.

Reuse of waste as organic fertilizer

During the production of sugar, significant amounts of organic waste are generated as byproducts that have a high agronomic value, including filter mud, ash, and vinasse. Cengicaña scientists discovered that applying these byproducts to the soil improves its physical, chemical, and biological properties.

For example, filter mud is a residue from the manufacture of sugar and provides phosphorus, calcium, and nitrogen, among others. It is estimated that each harvest produces more than 750,000 tons of this residue that is used to nourish fields.

Vinasse is a liquid residue from the distillation of alcohol and is mainly made up of water, organic matter and minerals that benefit the soil. Just as ash, mixed with filter mud, is beneficial for acidic soils, which favors greater availability of nutrients for plants and generally improves soil health.

Green fertilizer program

Crotalaria flowerJust as they use organic fertilizers, the Sugar Industry also uses green fertilizers, an ecological measure of planting legume plants that provide the soil with nitrogen for nutrition in an ecological and environmentally friendly way.

When legumes are mixed with the soil, they provide organic matter that improves the texture and structure of the soil and promotes the development of microorganisms that are beneficial to crops.

All these good practices are promoted by Cengicaña with the aim of comprehensively using biological and organic elements that are sustainable with the environment for the cultivation of sugarcane.

More than 900 thousand trees will be planted in 2021

the Reforestation Plan of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry was launched

Within the framework of National Tree Day, the Reforestation Plan of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry was launched, which for this year consists of the planting of 900 thousand trees in 10 departments of the country.

The planting of the 900 thousand trees takes place between May and August, on 400 hectares of land, which in the future will become forests in the departments of Santa Rosa, Chimaltenango, Escuintla, Suchitepequez, Retalhuleu, Jalapa, Solola, Sacatepequez , Jutiapa and Quetzaltenango.

The Reforestation Plan of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry began with a symbolic planting of 100 trees on a farm in Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa, Escuintla; with which the forest cover in the area is increased. It should be noted that, since 2017, more than 2,700 trees have been planted in the area, reaching three hectares of forest.

The activity was attended by the Regional Delegate of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources -MARN-, Eng. Juan Chamo; the Escuintla Subregional Director of the National Forest Institute -INAB-, Eng. Hugo Rene Monroy; the Manager of Environmental Compliance Manager of the Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association -Asazgua-, Eng. Otto Fuentes; the Director of the Private Institute for Climate Change Research -ICC-, Ph. D. Alex Guerra; as well as collaborators from the sugar mills and the media.

“As part of our commitment to the care and conservation of the environment, since 2011 the Guatemalan Sugar Industry started a program with the -ICC-, for the conservation and recovery of forests in strategic areas that contribute to the protection of riverbanks, zones of hydric recharge and biological corridors” affirmed Otto Fuentes, Manager of Environmental Compliance Manager of Asazgua.

the Reforestation Plan of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry was launched

Through this program, by the end of 2021, a total of 6.8 million trees will be planted in eleven years, with the support of the sugar sector,” said Alex Guerra, Director of the ICC. Likewise, he indicated that in each region native species are planted that serve as energy, timber, and conservation plantations; among them Cedar, Mahogany, Palo Blanco, among others”.

ICC provides technical and scientific support and advice and is the link with communities, organizations, municipal and regional authorities, for the installation of nurseries and identification of reforestation areas. The 900 thousand plants to be planted this year were produced in 88 nurseries installed in different locations. In addition, this program has the support of the National Institute of Forests -INAB-.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry works on restoration and conservation

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry is committed to a sustainable agriculture that is adaptable to climate change, with that objective supports the conservation and recovery of forests on riverbanks and upper parts of the basins, care of the soils that include green manure and conservation and recovery practices for the ecosystem such as fish farming, among others.

Forest recovery and conservation

In alliance with the Private Institute for Climate Change -ICC-, since 2011 the Guatemalan Sugar Industry has contributed to the recovery and conservation of forests by planting more than 5.9 million trees in the upper basin and riverbanks that flow into the South of Guatemala.

As part of this effort, 284 hectares of land have been reforested on the banks of the rivers of the South of the country alone, equivalent to 400 football fields, creating gallery forests and biological corridors.

These forests on the banks of rivers help to recharge water, to conserve soils by avoiding erosion and are also natural barriers that prevent floods, while they are home to species of flora and fauna.

In addition, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry has 2,507 hectares of natural forests, which are protected and cared for, and are part of the agro-landscape of the South of Guatemala and benefit the conservation of biological diversity.

Soil conservation

Since 2012, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry has worked hand in hand with the Guatemalan Center for Research and Training of Sugar Cane -Cengicaña- and the ICC in the development and implementation of practices for soil conservation.

One of these important practices is the plowing or the disposition of the land for the cultivation of sugarcane, so that it can better absorb water and nutrients, which preserves fertility and prevents erosion and flooding.

Legumes at Ingenio La Union

In addition, the Sugar Industry has implemented green manure through the sowing of legume plants that return nitrogen to the soil naturally. Sugarcane cultivation is renewed every 5 years to maintain its yield, so that, in the ideal areas, this renewal is used to rest and nourish the soil with the sowing of a legume that takes between 6 and 8 months in the field.

Legumes are the only group of plants that can capture nitrogen from the air and incorporate it into their body. 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.

Release of native fish into rivers

Another program implemented by the refineries is to enrich the fauna in the rivers. This activity called “stocking fish” aims to increase the population of native species in the rivers of the South of Guatemala. The Sugar Industry, with the support of the ICC, has released around 50,000 fingerlings or small fish into the rivers.