Illegal fires destroying sugar farmers
The All Island Jamaica Cane Farmers’ Association says more than 1,000 tonnes of sugar cane have been destroyed in illegal fires since October.
Chairman of the Association, Allan Rickards said the loss is expected to result in a significant reduction in the sugar crop and sugar production.
On Wednesday 26 acres of sugar cane was destroyed by a fire in Westmoreland.
The loss to that farmer is estimated at $4 million for the cane and another $1.1 million to get his field back into production.
Mr. Rickards said he has written to the Executive Chairman of the Sugar Industry Authority, Ambassador Derrick Heaven, requesting assistance for farmers whose crops were affected by the illegal fires.
He wants a portion of the Replanting Loan Funding to be made available to affected farmers.
There have been at least 15 illegal fires since October amounting to several millions of dollars in losses.