Sat | May 25, 2019

Government to begin divesting former sugar cane lands soon

Published:Thursday | May 16, 2019 | 9:31 AM
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw (right), looks at natural roots drinks, manufactured by D'TOS Woodland Roots and Natural Juices​ while proprietor, Oliver Welsh, observes. The occasion was the opening ceremony for the 12th staging of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation's small business exposition and conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on May 14, 2019 - Contributed photo

The Government will soon begin the process of divesting former sugar cane lands to be used for high-yielding, profitable crop production.

“The crisis of sugar must now emerge into a glorious opportunity of so many other things that we can produce in Jamaica,” said Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw.

“We are about to distribute sugar lands across the length and breadth of Clarendon, St. Catherine, Trelawny, and to some extent Westmoreland. We have hundreds of applications for lands now; people want to produce all kinds of things,” he added.

Shaw was speaking at the opening ceremony for the 12th staging of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation’s (JBDC) small business exposition and conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday.

He said that the lands are expected to attract large investors engaging in exotic crops, bamboo production, Sea Island cotton, coconut, among other things.

“We don’t realise the wealth that we are sitting on,” he said.

In the meantime, Shaw reiterated that the Government is looking to expand agro-processing for local consumption and export.

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