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Jamaican gov’t asks farmers to increase sugarcane production

Mr. Luther Buchanan, Minister of State in Jamaica’s Office of th0

San Juan, Oct 24 (EFE).- Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture, Labor and Social Security on Friday asked sugarcane farmers to increase production as a way to make the industry more competitive internationally.

In a press release on Friday, Minister Luther Buchanan said the Cane Expansion Fund will increase the amount of loans available to growers.

“Let me remind you that the sugarcane industry is the lifeblood of the agricultural sector and of rural development in sugar belts. I therefore implore you to keep that tradition going. However, we must produce more annually, in order to achieve the targeted 3 million to 3.5 million tons of cane by 2018,” Buchanan said.

The Frome Sugar Factory in Westmoreland expanded its sugarcane plantations under new owner Pan-Caribbean Sugar Company Limited, the Chinese company who purchased the last of the Jamaican government’s sugar refineries in 2010.

Historically, Jamaica has been a major sugarcane producer, but the island is increasingly an importer of sugar.

Sugar production in Jamaica for 2004-2005 was 125,400 tons, the lowest in six decades