Minister Samuda Expresses Optimism for Sugar Industry

Photo: Claudia Gardner Minister of Industry, Commerce Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda addresses the 80th Annual Conference of the Jamaica Association of Sugar Technologists, at the RIU Ocho Rios resort in St. Ann, on Thursday, November 2.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), Hon. Karl Samuda, is expressing optimism for the sugar industry.
  • Addressing the 80th Annual Conference of the Jamaica Association of Sugar Technologists (JAST), at RIU Ocho Rios resort, in St. Ann on Thursday (November 2), Mr. Samuda implored the stakeholders to press ahead with their cultivation, as it has been a ‘tried, tested and proven’ agricultural commodity.
  • The Minister, in underscoring the importance of the sugar industry to Jamaica’s economy, said the sector is extraordinary, as it serves some 200,000 Jamaicans indirectly and another 50,000 directly, and most importantly, unlike some other crops, has a guaranteed market.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), Hon. Karl Samuda, is expressing optimism for the sugar industry.

Addressing the 80th Annual Conference of the Jamaica Association of Sugar Technologists (JAST), at RIU Ocho Rios resort, in St. Ann on Thursday (November 2), Mr. Samuda implored the stakeholders to press ahead with their cultivation, as it has been a ‘tried, tested and proven’ agricultural commodity.

He said the advantages of cultivating sugarcane outweighs any associated negatives, especially due to its resilience to various climatic conditions, which has enabled it to thrive for centuries.

“What is better than to plant something that is almost impervious to praedial larceny? Even flooding (it) will affect the quality of the sugar, but it is very temporary; as soon as it gets dry, it just springs up back again,” Mr. Samuda argued.

The Minister, in underscoring the importance of the sugar industry to Jamaica’s economy, said the sector is extraordinary, as it serves some 200,000 Jamaicans indirectly and another 50,000 directly, and most importantly, unlike some other crops, has a guaranteed market.

Mr. Samuda encouraged the stakeholders to address areas for potential partnerships with the MICAF, and urged them to devise new methods of production which will increase the level of output.

This, he said, will ensure greater efficiency and enhance strategies aimed at including non-agricultural investors, to become participants in the industry.

“So my plea to you today is, don’t feel discouraged even for a moment. You will be faced with challenges…don’t for a moment, allow yourselves to entertain any negative thoughts about your industry. Let’s move forward in confidence that this industry is going to rise again… I think we can do it; I am sure we can do it,” Mr. Samuda said.

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