“Hard start”


The 2019 sugar harvest might have a bitter start if private farmers are not paid the $7 million owed to them from last year’s harvest.

Barbados Sugar Industry Limited (BSIL) chairman Mark Sealy told THE NATION that the lack of payment had some farmers in a financial bind, which if not corrected, would significantly impact the harvesting of this year’s crop.

“We received payments for 2017’s crop but not last year’s. We have not gotten support – Enhanced Cane Replanting Incentive Scheme [ECRIS] or the final payment from the Barbados Agricultural Management Company [BAMC], which is outstanding. We were supposed to get those payments in September last year and it is now 2019.

“We have a crop coming up to start and it is going to be very difficult for us because the farmers have no money left. Some of them could not afford fertiliser for the plants [cane] and there are a lot of farmers whose cash flow has been completely depleted,” the BSIL chairman said. (SB)

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