- The project is aimed at improving efficiency in the transportation of sugar cane from farm to factory.
- Next year, work will be undertaken on an additional 280 kilometres of roads, to increase market access for farmers.
- The Minister also stressed the need for increased production from cane harvests to meet the sugarcane quotas.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, says that approximately $400 million is being spent on the rehabilitation of 200 kilometres of cane roads island-wide.
He said the project is aimed at improving efficiency in the transportation of sugar cane from farm to factory, and forms part of the Government’s overall strategy to support the recovery of the industry.
“This year, we are spending, through the Sugar Transformation Unit, $400 million on cane roads all over the country… and we would have done more this year but because of fiscal space, we couldn’t spend more,” he said.
Minister Clarke was speaking at the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers’ Association annual general meeting held on Wednesday, November 13, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston.
He informed that next year, work will be undertaken on an additional 280 kilometres of roads, to increase market access for farmers, while improving employment prospects for community members.
Mr. Clarke reiterated the Government’s commitment to the continued strengthening of the country’s sugar industry through the implementation of several projects and initiatives.
He added that this is in a bid to, among other things, position the industry to record incremental increased outputs, and safeguard the welfare of the sector’s workers.
The Minister also stressed the need for increased production from cane harvests to meet the sugarcane quotas.
“What we need to do is to lift productivity to the maximum that if we were to get a decrease in price, it could be compensated by productivity and therefore that is what we have to do. We have to make sure that we get more sugar per acre than what we are getting now, not just more tonnes per acre, but more sugar, because that is what we are paid for,” he said.
He further urged farmers to ensure that their yields are of the highest standard at all times.