rhum depaz

Rhum Depaz embraces modern sugar cane cultivation

28 April, 2021

Martinique-based Depaz distillery has decided to replace its traditional method of growing sugar cane with pre-germinated cuttings with the aim of increasing the producer’s yield while limiting its environmental impact.

PGC involves isolating the cuttings from the sugar cane and germinating them in a greenhouse for two months, before planting them in the ground.

According to Depaz, the traditional cultivation of sugarcane in Martinique requires around 20 tons of cane to plant one ha of land, while thanks to the PGC method, only one ton of canes is required to replant the same area.

“For Depaz, this will represent an annual need of 100 tons of cane, whereas initially we needed 2000 tons of cane to replant our fields,” said Benoit Bail, Rhum Depaz brand ambassador. “If we plant all our plots in PGC, this will allow us to save an additional 1900 tons, which we will be able to send to the distillery to make more rum, without increasing our surface area or our yield.”

Bail said that Depaz uses PGC for 70 ha of plantations and that the final goal is to plant 100% of its cane using the modern technique, which also adds 10-15% of yield per ha.

“In terms of speed, we plant up to 3ha per day using this method,” added Bail. “While we were only doing 1.5ha per day using the traditional method, which allows us to plant almost the entire year, instead of planting only from July to September and thus to better distribute the climatic risks and have more time to better prepare the grounds.”

The PGC method is also said to use five times less diesel per ha and therefore reduce pollution as well as soil compaction through the use of lighter agricultural machinery.

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