It will be a historic year for an activity that represents an important pillar in local development.
Since 1943 with each beginning of the year, they also begin the last preparations for the harvest of the cane, commonly called Zafra. La Zafra, is that process that culminates months of cultivation, care and investment in sugarcane, and that year after year full of hope to hundreds of producers in the area. Like the coffee harvest, it is part of the history of the peoples of the western Central Valley; and it is still the economic pillar for many families.
La Zafra represents an activity that processes around 160 thousand tons of sugarcane in the Ingenio de CoopeVictoria and involves more than 900 producers in the area each year. It is an engine that generates approximately 5 billion colones that are injected to the entire community; benefiting a whole network of chains that includes harvesters, transporters, producers, watchmen, staff of the mill and local businesses. The entire economic environment is revitalized, which affects social development and the distribution of the wealth of cantons such as Grecia, Poás, Atenas, Sarchí, Naranjo and San Ramón.
Historical. 2019 will be a memorable year for the Zafra in our area and in the Turrialba canton; since with the temporary closure of Ingenio “Atirro”, CoopeVictoria will receive just over 30 thousand tons of cane from that area to process. For the first time in a long time, our Ingenio will process about 200 thousand tons in total, which would increase the indirect economic benefit for our area and directly for the affected families of Turrialba that would not lose their livelihood as a result of what happened.
The impact of burning. Unfortunately, with the beginning of the harvest, the vandalism burns also begin in the sugarcane fields. Just in the first 15 days of 2019, around 1400 tons of cane have already been burned. This translates into a considerable loss for the Ingenio and for the communities. The heat of the fire causes the canes to lose juice and sugar; the smoke generates a serious pollution in the air; and the risk it represents for people is very high if the fire gets out of control.
Therefore, CoopeVictoria, in coordination with the Caña del Pacífico Chamber of Producers and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), joins efforts to promote the reporting of vandalism burns to 9-1-1. Because any agricultural burning done outside the corresponding authorization of the MAG, constitutes a crime that could be punished with 5 to 10 years in prison.
For this 2019, the period of the harvest will be developing from January 14 to May 5.