Agriculture Ministry Says Illicit Cane Fires Costing The Sugar Industry

Story Highlights

  • Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, has again called on persons to desist from setting fires to sugarcane fields.
  • He noted that a total of 524 fires have adversely affected cane production in the 2014/15 crop year.
  • The Minister was addressing farmers at the 66th Annual General Meeting of the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers’ Association on November 12 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, has again called on persons to desist from setting fires to sugarcane fields.

He noted that a total of 524 fires have adversely affected cane production in the 2014/15 crop year.

“This has resulted in the loss of some 172,685 tonnes or 3177.34 hectares of cane,” said the Minister.

“Think of the difference that this could have made, in a year when we only produced 134,000 tonnes of sugar. We must stop the perpetrators and we must desist from burning valuable cane,” he said.

The Minister was addressing farmers at the 66th Annual General Meeting of the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers’ Association on November 12 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

He urged the farmers to be vigilant in protecting the sugarcane crop.

“No one has a bigger stake than you the cane farmers in ensuring that this practice is eradicated. We must therefore be vigilant,” the Minister told farmers.

Sugar Company of Jamaica Holdings Limited will be working with all stakeholders in the industry to launch a public education campaign against illicit cane fires.

“The time has come for all involved to take a very serious look at the impact of illicit cane fires on the sugar industry,” said the Agriculture and Fisheries Minister.

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