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Story Highlights

  • Repairs are underway at the Long Pond Sugar Factory in Trelawny to facilitate the re-start of operations.
  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, said the work should be completed within the next three weeks.
  • St. Elizabeth-based fish producers, Algix Jamaica, brought the court injunction against J Wray and Nephew, owners of Appleton.

Repairs are underway at the Long Pond Sugar Factory in Trelawny to facilitate the re-start of operations.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, said the work should be completed within the next three weeks.

Minister Samuda was addressing a press conference at his New Kingston offices earlier this week, where he announced that the Government-owned Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ) Holdings will temporarily take over the operations of the factory located in Clark’s Town.

He informed that a sum of $212 million, which was previously set aside for the transportation of cane, will be used to fund the temporary operations.

Long Pond Sugar Factory is operated by Everglades Farm Limited, which had indicated in mid-2015, that due to severe financial constraints, it would not be able to operate the factory in the current crop year.

Arrangements were made for Worthy Park in St. Catherine and Appleton Estate in St. Elizabeth to process all the cane from the Trelawny area.

Minister Samuda said that the failure of Appleton to commence operations so far, due to a court injunction “has now made it imperative for Long Pond to be opened to rescue the over 90,000 tonnes of cane in Trelawny not yet reaped and secure the future of the industry in that parish.”

The Minister made it clear that the arrangement was short-term. He noted that while the Government is not in a position to re-enter the cane business “we could not turn our backs on the cane workers of this country.”

Turning to the ongoing situation at Appleton, Minister Samuda said while it is “highly unlikely” that it will re-open for production this year “they have maintained their factories with their workers at full salary (which is) an excellent corporate gesture.”

He said the company is working out a mechanism to assist private farmers to start-up or resuscitate their fields, so that they will not suffer any dislocation.

St. Elizabeth-based fish producers, Algix Jamaica, brought the court injunction against J Wray and Nephew, owners of Appleton.

Algix has claimed that large quantities of fish have been lost due to the release of industrial effluent from the Appleton sugar factory into the Black River. The company relies on water from the river for its fish farm.