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ONLINE READERS COMMENT Sugarcane is dead, ganja time now

Sunday, November 11, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Another headline-grabbing story about the latest misfortune faced by the sugar companies has hit news headlines. To me it is just another symptom of a failed system akin to slavery that is fighting a losing battle to maintain relevance although its time has long passed.

Few places in the world is sugarcane this massive and lucrative industry as it is being touted here in Jamaica.

Neither are we back in the days of antiquity when sugar was king. Hours in the boiling Sun with machetes and basic equipment is no longer the way to go. For some unknown reason though, those aged and seasoned men at the helm of the ring of associations in charge of sugarcane in Jamaica don't seem to realize the shift.

It is sad to see sugar, which is so sweet leaving a sour taste on the lips of so many, but if we should survive economically as a country which we must cut our losses and ties now.

I'm suggesting a transformation in the local sugarcane industry. We should speedily rationalize the lands, gradually replace sugar with ginger, cotton, pimento, cocoa, hot peppers, tomatoes, ganja, or any blinking crop that is in demand and will turn a decent profit.

Hint! Canada needs more ganja, they are out of stock with the legalization of the plant. Keep just enough sugarcane plantations for the making of sugar, molasses and rum and their by-products for use locally or for rum export.

It is full time a stop is put to this downhill march or charade by the honourable Minister of Agriculture. We are wasting time as a country trying to revive a dying or dead industry when so many other lucrative crops and industries are beckoning for expansion and attention. One such industry calling is ganja, move with alacrity or watch it slip away slowly.

Joseph Edwards

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