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Once given clearance from Cabinet, Barbados will look to stop the export of sugar to Europe.
This was announced by Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick, during a press conference on the developments in the Ministry at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Graeme Hall, Christ Church, yesterday.
According to Dr Estwick, it makes no sense producing sugar at BDS $4 100 per one ton, and then selling it to the Europeans for $980.
“That is bad maths. I am not therefore going to support it,” he stressed.
“We are going to be producing our sugar for domestic consumption; and we are going to be producing our sugar for regional consumption, within the context of the revise Treaty of Chaguaramas and along with the other value-added products we are looking at.”
The Agriculture Minister went on to reveal his intention to urgently change the way the sugar industry is managed.
“I have been having internal discussions where we have recognised that having three distinctly different institutions running in parallel managing the industry makes no sense.”
He pointed out that these institutions’ – the Barbados Agricultural Credit Trust (BACT), the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC) and the Barbados Cane Industry Corporation (BCIC) – only points of interaction is with a few directors.
“This cannot set a direction and a future for an industry. Therefore my proposal is that I will be moving with great speed to have the bi-laws of the Barbados Agricultural Credit Trust evaluated. This will see if it can take on the responsibility of purchasing the shares of BCIC, so that the BACT would have responsibility for both BAMC; the agriculture side of cane production and BCIC, the factory side of cane production so that it can be properly managed from one entity.”
“I believe in going that way we will be setting the framework to effectively therefore transform the industry and move it forward.” (TL)