Français Bienvenue sur le site des Rhums Damoiseau

En cliquant sur le lien çi-dessous, je certifie avoir l'âge légal requis par la législation sur l'alcool dans mon pays de résidence pour visiter le site.

Anglais Welcome on Rhum Damoiseau's website

This site is intented for audience of legal drinking age only. You are not to proceed unless you are at least this age. By entering this site you confirm that you are at least the legal age in your country.

Entrer dans le site , Enter into the website

You are here --> Homepage > Experts' corner > Sugar Cane Cultivation
Distillerie-interieur.png Canne-a-sucre.png moulin.png Machine-vapeur.png Charette2.png Entree-cabanne-a-rhum2.png

Sugar Cane Cultivation

Sugar cane is a hardy grass, native to Asia, which was introduced to the West Indies when commercial farming of the land there first began. The first sugar plantations date from 1644.

In order to thrive, sugar cane requires a warm, damp climate and rich, deep and well-drained soil. As Guadeloupe has an average temperature of 28°C and an annual rainfall of above 1 metre, sugar canes thrive everywhere.

For three centuries, sugar cane was propagated from cuttings only. This asexual approach to reproduction, with no selection, caused the first varieties of cane to degenerate.

In the 1920s, different agricultural research centres obtained high yield varieties from seeds. In Guadeloupe, this approach to propagation significantly improved production.

Among the varieties widely grown in the 19th century, Bonaire cites: white cane from Otahiti, Ribbon cane, Creole cane, Satavia, Black cane and cane from Selangor.

At the beginning of the century, the varieties cited for giving the best yields were: White cane, Ribbon cane, Satavia, Cristalline and Congo. However, some of these varieties were dropped in favour of new seeds introduced in Barbados: B109, B145, B167 and B203.

Between 1918 and 1927 the sugar producers’ association established an agricultural research centre. It introduced elite varieties from other sugar cane cultivation centres as well as seeking to develop new varieties itself. In this way, Big-Tanas, BH10.12, B6450, St Croix 12.4, SC 13/13, SC22.31, C00213, C0281, POJ213, P052878 and other varieties were introduced.

Javan cane did not produce very good results here; these canes tend to weaken too early. In 1946, after the Second World War, the profession of sugar, rum and cane producer became particularly difficult. With no fertiliser left and few spare parts for equipment, production levels were low (400,000 tonnes of cane).

Between 1949 and 1962, the most spectacular expansion took place. In spite of the slowdown caused by climatic events such as the hurricane of 1956, production continued to grow until it reached the point of 1.85 million tonnes of cane in 1962.

To assist planters, in 1982 CITES established 8 varieties of sugarcane which have been adequately studied in terms of agriculture and the economy so that individual planters can make fully informed choices.