Fair yields in an extremely dry year

Fair yields in an extremely dry year


Although 2015 was recorded as one of the driest years in the worlds’ recent history and was specifically harsh for Colombia, our crop yields remained stable due to the implementation of an agricultural strategy based on promoting the protection of soils to retain moisture as maximum possible; the reuse of water used for the extraction process and protection of irrigation canals to prevent seepage and evaporation. Compared to the prior year, rainfall decreased by 49% in the Magdalena Region, were our Tequendama and Gavilan farms are located. In La Guajira, the reduction was 32.4%; while in the Cesar region where the Ariguaní farm is located the El Niño was less pronounced and declined merely a 5%.

Las Mercedes was the only seriously affected farm, our production unit established in La Guajira. The drought was a determining factor for the production decline of 59%. Contrary to this result, the Tequendama and Ariguaní farms increased their productivity by 8.8% and 10.6%, respectively; while the Tequendama smallholders increased their yield by 19%. Despite the effects of drought and the urgent need to intensify conservation strategies available resources, renovation of 162 hectares was carried out; the extraction plant processed 126,937 tons of fresh fruit bunches -FFB-, for a total production of 26,156 tons of crude palm oil. 10,449 tons of Palm Kernel were processed to obtain 4,706 tons of Palm Kernel Oil and 5,535 tons of Palm Kernel Cake was obtained. Additionally, there were 12 thousand tons of compost produced from our palm oil by-products. The quality improvement of oils was another area in which progress was made during 2015: a new clarification and drying system of crude palm oil was installed on our extraction mill allowing us to attain a longer shelf life in the end product. In order to reduce the volume of residual oil, an Empty Fruit Brunch was put into operation to allow us to extract its remaining oil. With this, we are reducing by 25% the loss of oil content.

In the process of energy auto-generation we have produced about three million kilowatt-hours, corresponding to a total 5788 hours of operation. With the operation of the CDM project - Clean Development Mechanism – we have flared more than three million cubic meters of biogas; which is to prevent 93 million cubic meters of greenhouse gases from entering our atmosphere.