Wed | Dec 19, 2018

PNP demands definitive plan for farmers, sugar workers in Clarendon

Published:Wednesday | November 14, 2018 | 10:42 AM
A cane harvester in operation at Monymusk Sugar Estate, in Lionel Town, Clarendon.

There is concern that the government has not outlined a clear plan for sugar cane farmers and factory workers in southern Clarendon.

Member of Parliament for south west Clarendon, Noel Arscott and the People’s National Party’s (PNP) caretaker for south east Clarendon, Patricia Duncan Sutherland, are calling on the government to be put in place a definitive plan for cane farmers and factory workers in the parish.

The PNP representatives want the plan to be put in place before the end of the next crop in June 2019. They also want a series of consultations to be held with farmers and workers, as well as an urgent decision to be made on the reopening of the Monymusk sugar factory in Lionel Town for the current crop.  

The call by Arscott and Duncan Sutherland comes on the heels of a meeting with farmers to discuss a proposal to transport cane from Clarendon to factories outside the parish for processing. They say the situation surrounding the future of sugar and cane lands, including the likely economic impact on workers and their families, were the main issues discussed.

The PNP representatives are contending that the proposal is not feasible since the Worthy Park and Appleton factories do not have the capacity to process all the cane that is expected to be reaped in Clarendon.

Additionally, they say the arrangement when combined with the cost of double-loading will have a significant impact on the earnings of farmers.

Consequently, Arscott and Duncan Sutherland are suggesting that the government use the $300 million earmarked for the transportation of cane out of the parish to operate the Monymusk factory.

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