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Story Highlights

  • The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) is in consultation with Pan Caribbean Sugar Company (PCSC), cane farmers, and all the necessary stakeholders to devise a workable plan to keep the Monymusk factory in operation.
  • These include high operating costs, low productivity, widespread theft and low cane supply.
  • Between 2009 and 2010, the Government of Jamaica divested its holdings in the sugar industry, namely the Monymusk, Frome, Bernard Lodge, Trelawny and St. Thomas Estates, which constitute 70 per cent of the industry.

The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) is in consultation with Pan Caribbean Sugar Company (PCSC), cane farmers, and all the necessary stakeholders to devise a workable plan to keep the Monymusk factory in operation.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, made the disclosure during the sitting of the House of Representatives on March 29.

He noted that while Monymusk is in excellent condition due to extensive rehabilitation undertaken, PCSC has indicated that it faces “many challenges” which prevent it from operating the Clarendon-based factory next year.

These include high operating costs, low productivity, widespread theft and low cane supply.

“PCSC has therefore indicated that it wishes to hand over the cane-growing operations to independent farmers starting immediately, and the factory to the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) for operation next year,” Mr. Samuda said.

He noted that the PCSC, in the meantime, will continue to work with the GOJ to activate new revenue streams in partnership with other investors, to return to operating the Monymusk factory in 2018.

He noted that Monymusk is a key employer of labour in Southern Clarendon and St. Catherine and the continued operation of the factory is important to the social and economic fabric of the region.

“This Government has every intention to find ways to keep Monymusk open. These times call for extraordinary courage, vision, ingenuity  and innovation and this Government is prepared to provide the leadership. Too much is at stake to fail,” Mr. Samuda said.

Between 2009 and 2010, the Government of Jamaica divested its holdings in the sugar industry, namely the Monymusk, Frome, Bernard Lodge, Trelawny and St. Thomas Estates, which constitute 70 per cent of the industry.

PCSC also operates the Frome Sugar Factory in Westmoreland.