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Ministry examines recommendations for rightsizing sugar industry


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November 2019
 

Senior Director in the Strategic Planning Division of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Delroy Coley (right) makes enquiries about a chemical shown to him by Marketing Development Officer of H &L Agro/Syngenta, Kingsley Palmer (centre) and Marketing Development Officer of H&L Agro, Andre Gordon, at the Annual General Meeting of the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association, held Wednesday, November 13 at the Denbigh Showgrounds in Clarendon.

Above Body

 14 Nov 2019    communications   

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) is currently reviewing several recommendations in a bid to rightsize the country’s sugar industry.
Against the background of the widespread desire of industry stakeholders to see the industry succeed, portfolio Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, listed several matters to be explored and addressed in the bid to secure a sustainable future for the industry.
Minister Shaw identified the recommendations in a speech delivered by Senior Director of Strategic Corporate Planning in the Ministry, Delroy Coley, at the 70th Annual General Meeting of the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association, held Wednesday, November 13 at the Denbigh Showgrounds in Clarendon.
Among the matters identified for consideration were, a need to match production levels to demand; implement product diversification – plantation white, molasses for rum production and bagasse for energy generation.
Additionally, he mentioned employing the best agricultural practices in order to increase productivity; provide more and improved extension services to small farmers; produce more cane for factory throughput; stop the illicit importation of sugar of all types into the country.
“On the matter of the illicit trade in sugar,” Mr Shaw said, “ we have examined the data and the intelligence. The loophole exists in the fact that some of the sugar imported by manufacturers for use in the manufacture of value- added goods, ends up in the consumption trade”.
“This must stop, “ he added, “and that is why my Ministry is now exploring actions to ensure that sugar intended for use in the manufacturing sector, can only be used for the purpose for which it was imported”.
Recommendation
“The recommendation before us is to centralise the importation so that refined sugar and artificial sweeteners for the manufacturing trade can only be imported by the Sugar Industry Authority, taken to a bonded warehouse and, from there, distributed to manufacturers,” he continued.
“In addition, the duty is to be paid upfront on importation of refined sugar and refunds of duty to be made upon verification of end use,” he said.
Minister Shaw stressed the importance of the sugar cane industry to the Jamaican economy and indicated that in spite of the harsh realities of the factory closures, there were new opportunities, such as product and land use diversification.
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