Over $1 Billion Allocated for Sugar Transformation Project

Story Highlights

  • More than $1 billion has been allocated to the Sugar Transformation Project to develop a sustainable private-sector-led sugar industry.
  • The project, being implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, aims to coordinate the smooth and effective implementation of the Jamaica Country Strategy for the Adaptation of the Sugar Industry 2006-2020.

More than $1 billion has been allocated to the Sugar Transformation Project to develop a sustainable private-sector-led sugar industry.

Details are contained in the 2017/18 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.

The project, being implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, aims to coordinate the smooth and effective implementation of the Jamaica Country Strategy for the Adaptation of the Sugar Industry 2006-2020.

Targets for the new fiscal year include expansion of the sugar-cane area under irrigation funded and installed by independent farmers, by a minimum of 300 hectares.

Additionally, the Government will be implementing a pilot project to harvest a minimum of 600 hectares of sugar cane using green cane-harvesting techniques; rehabilitate a minimum of 80 kilometres of feeder roads; and support training and certification of at least 600 persons from sugar-dependent areas (SDAs) in vocational skills.

Also, an additional $100 million will be injected in the Sugar Area Development Programme (SADP) Training Fund, and support will be provided for at least 80 persons trained under the SADP to establish or strengthen sustainable small businesses through loans, grants and technical assistance.

Other targets for the 2017/18 period include the implementation of a minimum of 80 socio-economic infrastructure projects in SDAs; and support will be provided for the exportation of sugar to countries other than the European Union (EU) and the United States, and for the development and promulgation of a mandatory standard for the packaging and labelling of sugar for the retail trade.

The project is being funded through the Consolidated Fund.

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