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Story Highlights

  • Cane farmers are being urged to protect the crop lien arrangement, available through the Sugar Industry Authority (SIA), as they would face significant challenges accessing loans if this facility is jeopardized, due to the actions of some farmers.
  • Executive Chairman of the SIA, Ambassador Derick Heaven, issued the caution on November 6, at the annual general meeting of the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association.
  • Under the crop lien scheme farmers are able to secure loans with the produce being used as security.

Cane farmers are being urged to protect the crop lien arrangement, available through the Sugar Industry Authority (SIA), as they would face significant challenges accessing loans if this facility is jeopardized, due to the actions of some farmers.

Executive Chairman of the SIA, Ambassador Derick Heaven, issued the caution on November 6, at the annual general meeting of the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

Under the crop lien scheme farmers are able to secure loans with the produce being used as security.

Mr. Heaven said that some farmers have been “very creative” in taking loans in one name, then selling their crops using another name, and were putting the system at risk. He urged other farmers to “speak to them”.

“I’m begging that the farmers, by their own action, don’t kill this credit scheme that is available. No other institution in this country is prepared to use crop lien as the means of securing loans. If crop lien is discredited and destroyed, the farmers are going to have a serious problem in finding alternate sources of funding for planting their cane,” he argued.

Ambassador Haven pointed out that other financing institutions have extensive requirements in order to qualify for funding, “so if the idea of using the crop that you produce to guarantee the loan is accepted, you need to guard it very jealously.”

Under the Cane Expansion Fund (CEF), which is administered by the SIA on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, funding is provided to the sugar cane sector to support increased production, and productivity.

The CEF is the main delivery system, which supports the objectives of the Revised Sugar Area Development Programme under the Government’s Sugar Adaption Strategy.

The Sugar Transformation Unit provides financial and technical support to the Administration of the CEF, inclusive of approving applications for loans/grants.

Focus areas include: cane planting; land clearing; drip irrigation; preparation, cultivation and harvesting equipment; land acquisition; and support for projects in sugar-dependent areas.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said the Ministry is pushing the crop lien mechanism, as a mainstream strategy for financing agricultural production, and is the model that is to be used in the development of agro-parks.

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