It’s just too expensive to reap.
That was the explanation of the owners of Portland and The Rock plantations in St Peter in response to reports that they planned to leave their 230-plus acres of ripe sugar cane to rot in the field.
Speaking on the condition their names are not published, the joint operators made it clear that while they had an undying love for agriculture in general and sugar cane in particular, it did not make sense pouring more money into years of losses.
In the interview with the DAILY NATION at Portland Plantation, near Farley Hill National Park yesterday morning, the owners explained that when they considered the cost of diesel, labour, insurance on equipment, and fertiliser among other inputs, it did not make sense reaping the canes at the current price.
They expect that Portvale Sugar Factory will pay between $45 and $55 for every tonne of canes received, a fraction of what is needed for a viable sugar operation.