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Assistance coming for sugar workers

BY KARLA JOSEPHS Observer staff reporter josephsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, September 29, 2012 | 9:52 AM    

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SAVANNALA-MAR, Westmoreland - Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Roger Clarke yesterday announced that the Government will be spending $3.4 billion within the next four years on a raft of  social programmes to assist workers in the sugar industry.

He said the programmes will be aimed at mitigating the adverse effects the divestment of the Sugar Estates have had on sugar  workers and small cane farmers.

"We have already disbursed $900 million to vulnerable sugar workers and small cane farmers to cushion the effects of the fallout from the divestment of the Government operated Sugar Estates." he said

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in partnership with the European Union yesterday awarded contracts to Share-Con Limited and D.R. Foote Construction Company Limited, amounting to $41 million to allow for work to begin on the construction phase of the Masemure and Barham Sugar Barracks sites in Westmoreland.

Clarke said that the developments will provide scores of persons with housing facilities.

"Share-Con Limited has been contracted to provide infrastructure works for the Masemure project. The infrastructure works is scheduled for completion by February 2013, at a cost of $29.2 million. It is anticipated that at the end of the initiative 22 housing solutions will be constructed to house 32 persons,"he announced

He added that the Barham site will be able to house more than a dozen persons upon completion, "Contractor DR Foote Construction Company is scheduled to complete infrastructure works by December 2012 to the tune of $12 million. This relocation site will provide accommodation for 19 persons in 11 units," he said.

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