Permanent Secretary Urges Farmers to Plant More Sugar Cane


Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Donovan Stanberry, has urged sugar cane farmers in St. Thomas to increase production, in order to capitalize on the lucrative market for ethanol, which is developing in the local and overseas marketplace.
“St. Thomas is a sugar cane growing area, and an interesting development is unfolding where the world is shifting, and where ethanol use and production is increasing,” he said.
Addressing farmers at a recent meeting in Morant Bay, St. Thomas, the Permanent Secretary said that overseas conglomerates were constantly making requests for parcels of land in excess of 15,000 hectares to plant sugar cane.
“The world is seeing that ethanol is a big thing and as we ready ourselves for privatisation, the prospect of what we can earn from ethanol is simply going to be mind blowing,” he said.
Mr. Stanberry told the farmers that even if Jamaica did not go into ethanol production, the fact that Brazil, one of the largest sugar cane growers, was moving out of sugar production and into ethanol, meant that Jamaica would have an opportunity to fill the gap for sugar on the world market created by Brazil’s withdrawal.
“The prices for sugar are going to rise to such an extent, that they will reduce the negative impact of the European Union’s impending 36 per cent reduction,” he said.
With St. Kitts announcing that it was coming out of sugar production and its quota to the European Union being allocated to CARICOM, Mr. Stanberry said it was unfortunate that Jamaica might not be able to capitalise on that opportunity, because the sector’s production capacity was not enough. “What we need in Jamaica’s sugar industry is the planting of more cane for whatever reason, sugar or ethanol, and to plant it in a very efficient way, so that we can increase our yields. Despite claims that sugar is dead, this is not so; in fact I can safely say that sugar has a bright prospect,” he said.

JIS Social