Black Immigrant Daily News
The local sugar industry has high expectations for this year’s harvest both in quality and quantity.
This year’s harvest is anticipated to reap 107, 000 tonnes of sugar according to Minister of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security, Indar Weir.
The Minister of Agriculture announced on Friday during a post-Cabinet media briefing at Parliament, the sugar harvest will officially commence on Monday, February 27. Weir said a 13 per cent increase has been forecasted, this accounts for an additional 2, 558 tonnes.
“The increase in volume is attributed to an increase in acres planted and increased yield because we have now been using hot water treated canes,” explained the Minister, noting that the hot water treatment was specifically used to ward off ratoon stunting disease.
“[We] invested in hot water treatment to get rid of disease and now the yields are increasing,” he continued.
Weir stated that discussions on the start of the harvest commenced after it was identified that the canes were “at a mature stage and ready for harvesting”. Additionally, discussions were held the Barbados Workers Union, Sugar Industries Staff Association and other stakeholders.
The agricultural minister said it was all systems go at the Portvale Sugar Factory. The factory is projected to produce 5,229 tonnes of sugar and 7,100 tonnes of molasses in this year’s harvest.