Cenicaña research contributes to the productivity of the panelero sector

Corpoica and Cenicaña delivered a new variety of sugar cane and presented the seed production process that will benefit paneleros from Boyacá and Santander.

A new variety of panelera cane and the process of producing sugarcane seed from individually extracted buds are two developments of the Centro de Investigación de la Caña de Azúcar de Colombia, Cenicaña, which will begin to be used by the panelero sector of Santander and Boyacá.

Thanks to a cooperation agreement with the Colombian Agricultural Research Corporation, Corpoica, work is being done on the development of suitable materials for the Hoya del Río Suárez region (geographical area where the cultivation of panela sugar cane covers approximately 45,000 hectares).

Within the framework of this agreement, in an official event organized by Corpoica last Tuesday, December 16, the variety Cenicaña Colombia (CC) 93-7510 was delivered to panela producers, which in the evaluations carried out showed high productivity and a high percentage of conversion to panela, surpassing in yield the RD 75-11 variety, which is found in 70% of the cultivated area in La Hoya and has an average vegetative period of 17 months.

Having such a high percentage planted with a single variety represents a high phytosanitary risk and disadvantages compared to producing regions with a lower vegetative cycle. For that reason, the varieties of sugar cane obtained by Cenicaña are alternatives for competitiveness and productivity for the panelero sector, ”stated Carlos Viveros, Cenicaña breeder.

CC 93-7510 is the third variety delivered to the producers of Santander and Boyacá within the framework of the technical cooperation agreement in force between the two entities.

On the other hand, during the event the sugarcane seed production process from individually extracted buds was also presented, which Corpoica incorporated and adjusted in its National Seed Plan with the purpose of strengthening the regional seed supply of the associations of small panela producers.

In Colombia, sugarcane sowing is done with vegetative material, especially by pieces. However, Cenicaña made adjustments to the conventional process of seed production from buds in order to achieve greater speed in the multiplication of varieties and obtain planting material of high varietal purity. Today this system is widely used in the sugar industry.

This technology consists of extracting the buds from the stems of plants grown in a clean seedbed, carrying out a heat treatment before germination and transplanting to the field. This system guarantees high sanitary quality of the planting material as well as a higher multiplication rate, especially for the rapid propagation of new varieties.

Interesting Facts

  • The objective of the initial evaluation in 2007 was to develop varieties similar to RD 75-11, but that would exceed their production and have a shorter vegetative cycle.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, Corpoica and Cenicaña evaluated 78 materials agro-industrially in the south of Santander and identified ten promising varieties due to their potential in tons of sugarcane per hectare and tons of panela per hectare.
  • As a result of this evaluation, the varieties CC 93-7711 (in November 2013) and CC 93-7510 (in December 2014) have already been delivered to the panela sector.
  • In the evaluations carried out, the yields of the CC 93-7510 variety were 146,2 tons of cane per hectare and 14,3 tons of panela per hectare, surpassing the RD 75-11 variety by 20 tons of cane per hectare and 2,2 , 75 tons of panela per hectare. The vegetative cycle of this variety is two months shorter than that of the traditional variety in the area (RD 11-XNUMX).
  • The CC 93-7510 variety is resistant to diseases such as rust, charcoal and viruses.