Since 2012, the Guatemalan Center for Research and Training of Sugar Cane (Cengicaña) works together with the Private Institute for Climate Change Research (ICC) for the development and use of practices for the conservation and sustainable use of soils. These are based on practices that reduce and avoid erosion levels, maintain the soil and improve its fertility and productivity.

Sustainable practices to maintain soil fertility:

  • Use of green manures: ecological measure of planting leguminous plants that provide the soil with nitrogen.
  • Use of organic fertilizers: organic matter improves the properties of the soil, providing a greater availability of nutrients and improving soil´s health in general.
  • Rainwater harvesting: rainwater is captured in trenches and wells; this is an environmental conscious practice that contributes to the recharge of groundwater and mitigates soil wear.
  • Soil preparation: in order to obtain a good soil base for the optimal development of the plantation.
  • Strip cultivation: green crops such as legumes are sown alternating with lines of sugar cane, in this way nitrogen is incorporated and soil erosion caused by water is reduced.
  • Level curves: information from drones or satellite images are used to determine the topography of the area so that crops are planted at the same height above sea level.

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