Agriculture Minister Outlines Model for the Allocation of Cane Lands

Photo: Melroy Sterling Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, addresses the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers’ Association Annual General Meeting held at Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston, on November 22.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, says the system used to allocate cane lands to farmers at Monymusk sugar factory, in Clarendon, will likely be used across the island.
  • “It is a model that can work and the only thing that can prevent it from becoming successful, is if we don’t apply our basic knowledge with increased technology that will enable us to outshine cane farmers throughout the region,” the Minister said.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, says the system used to allocate cane lands to farmers at Monymusk sugar factory, in Clarendon, will likely be used across the island.

According to the Minister, the farmers are allocated seven-acre plots where all the management is under their responsibility, and that system might be used as a model to “serve us in the future”.

“It is a model that can work and the only thing that can prevent it from becoming successful, is if we don’t apply our basic knowledge with increased technology that will enable us to outshine cane farmers throughout the region,” the Minister said.

He was delivering the keynote address at the annual general meeting of the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers’ Association (AIJCFA), held on November 22, at Spanish Court Hotel, in New Kingston.

Mr. Samuda said the sugar industry should experience growth and an increase in prices, and farmers should continue to plan ahead by having cane ready to be processed.

“The future of the industry depends on you the experienced farmers,” the Minister told the meeting.

For farmers in the Monymusk area who are facing disruption in irrigation service due to a dispute over payment of electricity bills, the Minister said they should “continue farming”, as he has sought the intervention of Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, and they will continue to have the service.

The Minister encouraged the farmers to continue to grow the sector, so that more young persons can see it as a viable career.

Recently, the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) reported that the agricultural sector grew by 28 per cent between January and September of this year, with domestic agriculture growing by 43 per cent.

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