Next year???s sugar cane crop is expected to be bigger than in recent years.
This was revealed by Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, who was delivering the feature address at the National Agricultural Conference on Monday, at the Savannah Hotel.
Dr. Estwick said that it was expected that next year???s crop should benefit the island significantly, since more sugar cane would be planted.
He pointed out that due to revenue challenges this year, Government was unable to effectively assist farmers, and, as a result, this year???s crop will produce even less cane than last year.
He stated that this year, Government received financing from ANSA Merchant Bank to assist with the Barbados Cane Industry Restructuring Project, and added that the funds should benefit farmers in carrying out proper post-crop management.
???This year is not the critical year for us because we only just got the financing ??? so now that we have the money in hand we are now planning to ramp it up for 2016 and we hope to have more crop planted. We now have the money to give the farmers for fertilisers and for their crops,??? he explained.
The Agriculture Minister was hopeful that with the additional crops, the island would not have to import sugar, and that the sugar cane could be used to create other products.
???What we are planning to do with regard to a sugar cane industry, is to establish the link between agriculture and industry, and agriculture and the environment. It is about creating value-added products beyond molasses and a sweetener.
???We have started packaging our sugar, and I want to see the day come where we are not bringing in those fancy sachets at every hotel for coffee and use the one that we are producing here,??? he asserted.