Sugar to pump US$80 million into economy
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda, says the sugar industry is expected to contribute US$80 million in earnings to the economy this year.
He made the disclosure during his address at the Jamaica Stock Exchange's (JSE) 12th Regional Investment and Capital Market Conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel last Wednesday.
Samuda, in underscoring the importance of the sugar industry to Jamaica's economy, noted that the sector continues to be a major employer, accounting for some 50,000 jobs.
He said that sugar cane is one of the most resilient and consistent crops, if grown under perfect conditions and managed properly.
"It is impervious to praedial larceny and very resilient to weather," he said.
Samuda noted the need for diversification of the sector into areas such as ethanol production and cogeneration.
"It is the direction that, ultimately, we have to move in, but we must, at this stage, seek to do as well as we can with the production of sugar cane," he said.