Big Allocation for Sugar Transformation Project

An allocation of $1.25 billion has been set aside in the 2008/09 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives, for the Sugar Transformation Project in the Ministry of Agriculture.
The overall aim of the project is to develop a sustainable private sector-led sugarcane industry; strengthen the economic diversification, social resilience, and environmental sustainability of sugar-dependent areas, and maintain progress towards macro-economic goals. This is to achieve an effective transition of the sugarcane industry to a viable and sustainable sector by 2015.
The project, which commenced in April 2007, has, up to February 2008, seen the establishment of the Sugar Transformation Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture; commencement of asset assessments in the industry; preparation of a draft report of the ‘Study to Review and Assess the Structure and Strategic Direction of the All Island Jamaica Cane Farmers’ Association’; preparation of a final report of the ‘Identification Study for Phase II of the EU Accompanying Measures’, which contained draft proposals for the transformation of the sugarcane industry and production of ethanol; commencement of a study to support the socio-economic development of sugar dependent communities, and meetings and workshops with various stakeholders.
It is envisaged that 2008/09 will see the completion of studies and sugar industry transformation plans; completion of support to the divestment and privatization of public sector assets; provision of support actions to improve the socio-economic conditions of sugar dependent communities; commencement of a public awareness campaign for the sugar industry, and other support actions to achieve the targets of the Jamaica Country Strategy for the transformation of the sugarcane industry.
The project, which lasts until June 2013, is jointly funded by the Government and the European Union (EU).

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