The first canes for the 2013 sugar harvest are ready to be delivered to Andrews and Portvale factories today, but officials are already preparing for a decline in cane and sugar yields.
With three weeks of harvesting having been lost for various reasons, chairman of the Barbados Sugar Industry Limited, Dr Atlee Brathwaite, said the harvest was still expected to yield 18 000 tonnes of sugar. This is down from the 24 526.15 tonnes from last year.
The projected cane yield is 202 941 tonnes, which is just over 55 000 tonnes less than the 258 600.62 recorded from last year’s crop. Brathwaite said tonnage would be lost because of the late start.
Brathwaite said he was “almost certain” of a start today, as steam trials had been successfully completed at the two factories Monday and yesterday.
Factory manager at Andrews, John Dow, said yesterday: “We tried out all of the equipment; we are now ready to receive canes.” (YB)