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Timely shot in arm for cane farmers

Published:Monday | November 16, 2015 | 12:45 PMRobin Rock


I am convinced that the action by our Government to offer cane farmers a break from their debt-repayment obligations in light of the current battle with drought conditions is highly considerate and very commendable.

With the effects of the current drought affecting the Caribbean, it is quite easy to understand that farmers here in Jamaica have faced stiff challenges for the last two years to meet their obligations and to make their operations viable.

The recent news that the Jamaican Government will seek to ease the pains of its cane farmers with a debt write-off is a timely intervention. This is a boon to the overall agricultural situation in the country.

Only 80 per cent of the loans sourced by the farmers will be recovered, according to the Ministry, and while the remaining 20 per cent might not seem like much, it coincides with the approaching close of the rainy season and also final payments that are to be made on said loans by the farmers

This 500-year-plus industry remains the nation's single most significant crop and boasts the highest level of vertical integration in Jamaica, from agriculture to manufacturing.