The sugar industry continues to produce less sugar and at present we have the lowest sugar production for the past eighteen years. Production stood at two hundred thousand tonnes.
The forecast for this crop is not bright. The industry therefore must be able to produce an alternative arrangement in order to move the industry forward so as to yield a bountiful production in the vicinity of three hundred thousand tonnes for the year 2012. Low production at this point in time will aggravate and increase poverty in the sugar belt.
Considering the critical nature of the current situation, it will be necessary to produce a turnaround plan for the industry. This is urgent business, given the fall in sugar cane production and the consequences of the EU’s removal of guaranteed prices. At the same time we must ensure that any strategic plan is implemented. The government should listen to the problems affecting the workers at all the estates and offer them a solution.
Given the poor management manifested at times in the sugar industry the time has come that every act of incompetence and neglect should be investigated.
There should be a special investigative committee of at least five persons, two from the main opposition parties, one from the government one from the union and one technical person. Unless some stern action is taken against those who are incompetent and delinquent, the sugar industry will continue to suffer.