Gov't provides $200 million to assist cane farmers in St Thomas

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Gov't provides $200 million to assist cane farmers in St Thomas

Monday, January 27, 2020

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ST THOMAS, Jamaica— Sugar-cane farmers in St Thomas who were negatively affected by the closure of the Golden Grove Sugar Factory will be receiving $200 million in assistance.

Speaking to farmers at the factory located in Duckenfield on Friday, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw said that the funds are to be used for the planting of new crops, given that the demand for sugar cane has decreased.

“We started out by asking for $50 million to help you, then we went up to $80 million. Well, I am telling you today that I have gotten approval now for $200 million to start helping in the process here,” he said.

“That $200 million is going to go into the ground because handing out money just to carry you through next week and next month will not solve the problem,” he said.

Shaw added that the money, which will come in the form of inputs, fertiliser, seeds and animals, can also be used to plant other crops.

Shaw noted that cane cutters who are not farmers will benefit from the support as well.

Meanwhile, he is encouraging farmers who need land for planting to come forward.

He advised them to present their plans to the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), which will share those plans with the ministry.

“Help is coming, and it's coming fast; it's coming next month,” he said.

The Golden Grove Sugar Factory was closed in 2019 by manufacturing company Seprod, which took over the business in 2009 with the hope of reviving the ailing sugar operation.

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