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Meadows urges Everglades owners to lease unused cane lands to displaced workers

Published:Sunday | January 3, 2016 | 1:52 PM
A section of the Hampden sugar factory in Trelawny, which is owned by Everglades Farms.

Dennis Meadows, the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) caretaker for northern Trelawny, is urging the owners of the Everglades Sugar Company to consider sub-leasing a portion of non-cane lands to former workers who have lost jobs following the closure of the factory.

Meadows says although he appreciates the reasons for the closure of the factory, he is asking Everglades to exercise goodwill and honour its obligations to workers in order to alleviate the impact of the closure.

He is proposing that Everglades Farms sub-lease 12,000 acres of non-cane lands that have been leased to it for farming. He says the Hussey family, which owns Everglades, had promised to review the proposal in consultation with the government, which had leased them the land.

Everglades has some 19,000 acres of land under its control with only 5,000 acres in cane production.

Meadows is also urging the government do everything within its power to assist Everglades Farms' co-generation and a power-purchase agreement with the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) that are expected to assist with improving the sugar production operations and facilitate other revenue streams that are aimed at reopening the sugar factory and enhancing the viability of Everglades Sugar Company.