Sugar farmers standing by for payment
SUGAR FARMERS will shortly receive monies owed by Government to service their debt and assist with this year’s sugar harvest.
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler said yesterday $15 million would be given to the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC) for disbursement to the farmers by next week.
Speaking to the media at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, he said Government aimed to get the liabilities to the farmers from last year’s crop cleared. In the meantime he reported plans were moving forward for this year’s crop, which Prime Minister Freundel Stuart had earlier told the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) members was likely to produce just about 10 000 tonnes of sugar.
Low rainfall levels are expected to result in reduced sugar yields. Sinckler said debt service costs for the sugar industry had now reached over $60 million per year; a level he maintained was not sustainable. Government’s goal, according to him, was to clear its liabilities to the farmers after the previous year’s crop, “work our way through with what little we can get from this year’s crop, and to start in 2017 to have increased production line for the crop going forward”.
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