(Jamaica Observer) KINGSTON, Jamaica — Pan Caribbean Sugar Company has given notice that it will not operate the Monymusk sugar factory next year.
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw made the disclosure in his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday.
Shaw added that the Government is aware of the “huge investments” made by cane farmers in light of the notice.
“There is no way that this Government could sit idly by and allow this investment to be squandered with the closure of the factory. We are, therefore, working with Pan Caribbean to facilitate joint ventures with new investors or an outright sale of the factory,” Shaw said.
He pointed out that since the establishment of the Cane Expansion Fund Unit in December, 2014, approximately $519 million has been approved for on-lending to farmers in the Monymusk factory area.
Of this amount, $493 million has been disbursed to 93 farmers for cultivation of 404.96 hectares, he said.
“We are aware that these initiatives might not materialise for the next crop. Therefore, the Government will put in place measures to ensure that the cane grown in that area is processed by Appleton or Worthy Park. Cane farmers can, therefore, employ the necessary agronomic measures to secure the crop for next year,” he added.