The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries would like to make clear that on average some 60,000 tonnnes of sugar is supplied to the domestic market on a yearly basis, with monthly consumption averaging 5,000 tonnes.
It is traditional that we import sugar to make up for short-falls in our production after fulfillment of our overseas obligations. This was the case this year. For this year our international commitments were not met on a timely basis due to the underperformance of the GOJ factories and sustained rainfall resulting in the premature closure of factories.
The Government of Jamaica has made adequate arrangements for the importation of sugar to satisfy the domestic trade. Sufficient supplies were received in July and adequate supplies are in place for August. Manifestly, a shipment was received yesterday, (Tuesday, July 19) with another due tonight (Wednesday, July 20) and one shipment each is expected for the next two weeks.
In addition, the Monymusk Sugar Factory will continue operations until the first week in August, processing cane from the parishes of Clarendon and Trelawny.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries have placed an order with our CARICOM partner Guyana, to provide us with sufficient supplies up to November 2011. We are aware of the increased prices of sugar on the world market, and have implemented measures to increase cane production by an additionally 30% for the upcoming crop.
The Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries wishes to assure the distributive trade that adequate arrangements have been made to supply the market until local production comes on stream. We, therefore, seek the cooperation and assistance of all, and urge persons not to hoard supplies at this time.
We, therefore, urge persons who are experiencing difficulties to contact the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Communication & Public Relations Unit at 927-1731-50 or the Jamaica Cane Products Sales Limited at 926-3650-3.