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Gov't to spend billions in sugar growing areas

Published:Monday | May 16, 2016 | 12:10 AM
Sugar cane



The Government will be spending approximately J$2.4 billion to continue work on social infrastructure projects in sugar-dependent areas this fiscal year.

The projects, which include rehabilitation of cane roads and installation of irrigation systems, will be carried out under the Sugar Transformation Programme (STP) in the Ministry Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries. Finance and the Public Service Minister, Audley Shaw, made the disclosure as he opened the Budget Debate in Parliament on May 12.

The STP aims to develop a sustainable private sector-led sugar cane industry; strengthen economic diversification, social resilience and environmental sustainability of sugar-dependent areas; and maintain progress towards macroeconomic goals. Meanwhile, approximately J$465 million will go to the Agricultural Competitiveness Project in order to continue the development of irrigation infrastructure and to complete the new packing facility at New Forest, Manchester. The establishment of a fifth agro park at New Forest/Duff House will also be undertaken.

The Agricultural Competitiveness Project is designed to boost the agriculture sector by facilitating access to markets for small and medium farmers; ensuring the production of safe and high quality foods and products; and stimulating public-private investment in agribusiness value chain development.