First Look

Indecision of Holness-led Government Crippling Clarendon Cane Farmers

PNP HEADQUARTERS | 2019-01-23 12:01:00

People’s National Party (PNP) Caretaker for South East Clarendon, Mrs Patricia Duncan Sutherland says the continued disregard of the predicament of cane farmers in Clarendon by the Andrew Holness-led government must be condemned by all well-thinking Jamaicans.
Over 250 factory workers and their families have been left in limbo as the cane crop remains in the fields of Clarendon while the harvesting season has begun and all factories in other parts of the island have started processing.
The plight of the Clarendon cane producers is aggravated as the government had loaned some of these farmers funds to complete this crop and expect that the loans will be repaid.  The Government’s silence on this matter is of serious concern.
“Since the Agriculture Minister’s initial conversations with the farmers in October, the government is yet to outline a definitive position with respect to the cane to be harvested from the lands in Clarendon. The farmers had indicated that their preference is for the Monymusk Sugar Factory to be reopened. The Minister of Agriculture on the other hand had indicated plans to transport the cane to factories outside of Clarendon, Worthy Park and Appleton Estate factories, for processing.” Mrs Duncan Sutherland said.

In November the cane farmers were told that the matter was being carried to Cabinet.  To date they have had no response to their proposal nor has the government made any arrangements for the transportation of their cane.

“We are calling on the Prime Minister in convening cabinet this week, to consider the matter and communicate the Government’s decision with respect to the reaping of the Clarendon crop and the opening of the Monymusk Factory.” Mrs. Duncan Sutherland continued.

The cane farmers have maintained that despite the delay in the harvesting of the crop, they believe that the best solution remains to have the Monymusk factory reopened to process the cane from their lands. This position is supported by the President of the All Island Cane Farmers Association, Allan Rickards.

The cane farmer’s proposal recommends the use of monies that the Government has indicated will be been earmarked to transport cane outside the Parish for processing, to be redirected to help with the running of the MoneyMusk plant.



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