The Belizean sugar industry is one of the backbones of the country’s economy. 90% of the produced sugar are exported to the European Union. It is expected that sugar prices will fall by 25-35% after the withdrawal of EU sugar price support in 2017. To avoid economic collapse for the Belizean sugar industry the only appropriate answer to this imminent global decline in sugar prices is an increase of the sugar industry’s efficiency.
The lack of information on sugar cane acreages, productivity values, parcel ownership etc. has been identified as one of the major challenges for the sustainability and resilience of the sugar industry in Belize. In 2013 it has been agreed among all stakeholders that the introduction of a performant management information system accompanied by a comprehensive data inventory is necessary. The European Union supports this process by supporting the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institutes SIRDI in the development of such a system. InPhase 1 of the project a comprehensive inventory of the parcels under sugar cane production was realized and a farmer database was established.
Phase 2, started September 2015, targets the development of a multi-stakeholder shared management information system meeting the the needs of all stakeholders of the Belizean sugar industry. This system aims to enhance processes in planning and execution through introduction of transparency and trust.
The development of GIS-based models for forecasting productivity and harvesting cycle and a barcode-based delivery system allowing to track the cane from the field to the mill shall help to enhance the efficiency of transport and transformation of the cane. Geomatics play a major role as spatial variability of soil parameters, geomorphological and climatological parameters cannot be handled without geographical information systems.
28. November 2015
Digital Agriculture, Food Security, Geomatics