- The management of Worthy Park Estate Limited has been lauded for the high efficiency of the operations at its sugar factory in St. Catherine by Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda.
- Mr. Samuda said he feels a “renewed sense of commitment” from stakeholders, such as the operators of Worthy Park, and commended them and others “who have stuck with sugar.”
The management of Worthy Park Estate Limited has been lauded for the high efficiency of the operations at its sugar factory in St. Catherine by Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda.
The factory has an annual output of 28,000 tonnes derived from some 260,000 tonnes of milled sugar cane.
During a visit to the plant on February 15, the Minister viewed the operations at the factory, packing facility and distillery as well as cane cultivation and harvesting techniques.
Senior Managing Director, Robert Clarke, led the touring party, which also included Permanent Secretary, Donovan Stanberry, other Ministry officials, as well as representatives of Worthy Park.
Speaking with JIS News, Mr. Samuda said the management’s effort to enhance the operations, including notable technology inputs, has positioned it to “challenge any other facility of its type anywhere in the world.”
“The packaging plant that was recently installed is state-of-the-art and offers a level of competition which is on par with those, not only in the Caribbean, but elsewhere in the world,” he added.
Additionally, Mr. Samuda noted that the fields are in “excellent shape,” pointing out that “the management is first class and, as Minister, it gives me a level of encouragement about the industry’s future.”
Mr. Samuda said he feels a “renewed sense of commitment” from stakeholders, such as the operators of Worthy Park, and commended them and others “who have stuck with sugar.”
The Minister dispelled doubts about the sugar industry’s viability and urged “anyone who harbours any doubts…to just forget them and get involved in the industry.”
For his part, Mr. Clarke told JIS News that 55 per cent of the cane milled at Worthy Park was harvested from its 3,000 acres of land, with the remainder being supplied by small farmers in St. Catherine and neighbouring Clarendon.
Mr. Clarke said significant focus is placed on timely maintenance of equipment and machinery and retooling in order to maintain the entity’s operational efficiency.
In the meantime, Mr. Samuda has reassured that the Ministry will be taking steps to curtail the illicit burning of sugar cane.
He pointed out that the practice, which is prevalent in Westmoreland and impacted the Frome sugar factory in particular, is rearing its head in Clarendon affecting the Monymusk factory and, to some extent, Appleton in St. Elizabeth.
The Minister also urged persons who may be engaging in the illicit act under the guise of seeking employment during harvesting, to desist.
While acknowledging that cane is burnt during harvest cycle, Mr. Samuda emphasised that when this is done illicitly, “it places too much pressure on the factory to try and reap the cane within 72 hours…and we can least afford to lose production at this time.”