JIS News

Story Highlights

  • An additional $1.8 billion is being provided by the Government, this year, to continue implementation of the Sugar Transformation Project.
  • It is anticipated that during the 2014/15 fiscal year, 300 housing solutions will be completed at Springfield, Clarendon, and Hampton Court and Stokes Hall, St. Thomas, to facilitate resettlement of 300 families currently living in sugar estate barracks in these areas.
  • The Sugar Transformation Project is intended to develop a sustainable private sector-led sugar industry by 2015;

An additional $1.8 billion is being provided by the Government, this year, to continue implementation of the Sugar Transformation Project. This allocation is contained in the 2014/15 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives.

The project, being spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, has three major components. These are: strengthening the sugar cane sector’s commercial competitiveness; socio-economic development of Sugar Dependent Areas (SDA); and facilitating support for the national policy environment.

It is anticipated that during the 2014/15 fiscal year, 300 housing solutions will be completed at Springfield, Clarendon, and Hampton Court and Stokes Hall, St. Thomas, to facilitate resettlement of 300 families currently living in sugar estate barracks in these areas.

The project is also expected to entail implementation of support actions to increase cane sugar production to 3.5 tonnes by the 2017/18 crop year; commencement of Training and Investment Fund operations for SDA communities; and grant approvals to complete implementation of over 47 social infrastructure projects in SDAs.

The Sugar Transformation Project is intended to develop a sustainable private sector-led sugar industry by 2015; and coordinate the smooth and effective implementation of the Jamaica Country Strategy for the Adaptation of the Sugar Industry – 2006 to 2020.

Thus far, the project, which has been ongoing since 2007, has helped to increase farmers’ cane planting/replanting output from 829 hectares in 2010/11, to 2,295 hectares in 2012/13; facilitate implementation over 80 social infrastructure projects in seven sugar dependent areas at a cost of over $500 million, completion of regional drainage works in Westmoreland which has helped to reduce the impact of flooding on communities and cane production and productivity, rehabilitation of over 40 kilometres of cane roads to reduce post-harvest losses recorded, and construction of 80 houses under the Barracks Relocation Project component.