Cane farmers will soon receive outstanding monies owed to them.

Word of this has come from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who said he had discussions with his Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler, who assured him that the money would be paid over shortly.

Mr. Stuart was answering a question on the state of the sugar industry during the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry???s luncheon yesterday at Hilton Barbados.

He stated: ???I am aware that all???of what had to be executed has been executed and that the Barbados Agricultural Management Company is to get the pay over from ANSA Merchant Bank so that the farmers could get their money. So this is no longer an issue; the money is available based on what I was told??????

The Prime Minister contended, however, that the private-sector led sugar industry got into ???horrible difficulty??? in the early 1990s and Government came in and restructured it. He opined that from the 19th century, the sugar industry of Barbados was in decline and those managing it did nothing to arrest the decline.

Therefore, he stated, the sugar industry???s problems were not recent and he expressed the view that Government should not have been involved in the sector.??During the question-and-answer session, Mr. Stuart stressed that several studies had been undertaken and a decision taken by Government to create a sugar cane industry.

He said Government would not, therefore, be concentrating on the production of bulk sugar, but would focus on specialty sugars, while using the sugar cane industry as a source of energy.??However, he insisted that the decision to move to a sugar cane industry ???is not being implemented tomorrow???, and details were still being worked out.

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