On April 26, a first meeting was held at the Cenicaña Experimental Station, with the purpose of analyzing the situation of the Colombian panela sector and alternatives to reduce phytosanitary risks and increase productivity.
Cenicaña, Corpoica, ICA and Fedepanela are working on structuring a strategic plan to increase the adoption of new varieties of sugarcane in the Colombian panela sector.
The interest in increasing the planting of varieties developed by Cenicaña arose from the phytosanitary risk in this productive sector, especially in Santander and Boyacá, due to the susceptibility of the RD 75-11 variety to orange rust.
This variety is planted in about 30,000 hectares of the Suárez River Hoya, a geographical area where the cultivation of sugar cane for the production of panela covers approximately 45,000 hectares.
As a result of its research work, Cenicaña has developed and delivered to the panela sector varieties of sugarcane, such as CC 93-7711 and CC 93-7510, which, according to evaluations carried out by Corpoica, surpass RD 75-11 in performance and they are resistant to different diseases; However, despite their results, they have not managed to displace RD 75-11 in sowing.
In order to expand the sowing of the varieties developed by Cenicaña, actions for technology transfer, technical assistance and sanitary regulation will be carried out by the four entities.
In the first meetings held with this objective, the reasons for the low adoption of new varieties of sugar cane were analyzed and a period of four years was defined to increase its cultivated area. As a result of this analysis, it was decided that an alternative to improve adoption is the union of efforts to establish healthy commercial seedbeds in the different panela production areas of the country.
From left to right in the photograph: Carlos Viveros, Plant breeder of Cenicaña; Javier Gómez, Technical Director of Fedepanela, Julio Ramírez, manager of innovation for transitory and agro-industrial crops of Corpoica, Álvaro Amaya, General Director of Cenicaña; Marlon Torres, deputy manager of plant protection at ICA; Carlos Mayorga, manager of Fedepanela; Ricardo Palacio, president of the Board of Fedepanela; and Juan Carlos Ángel, Plant Pathologist from Cenicaña.