Barbados spending millions to diversify sugar industry
The government is trying to get more from the industry than just sugar.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday June 29, 2011 – Government plans to embark on a BDS$200 million (US$100 million) project to diversify the sugar industry with bagasse, ethanol, special sugars and molasses.
This was revealed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Darcy Boyce, who says Government is also looking at producing bagasse outside of the sugar industry.
"We recognise also that bagasse from sugar cane will not by itself be able to give us the kind of return that we want,” he said “We have actually commissioned workers to look at the economics of growing other biomass, river tamarind and other things we know grow in Barbados, but we actually have to get some hard data...so we can actually do numbers so we know how much energy can be produced. That work has been commissioned and is going on.”
Senator Boyce also noted that people involved in the sugar cane industry need to raise their level of productivity by making better use of technology to raise the number of tonnes of cane sowed and reaped per acre.
He said it would make no sense to continue pouring money into an industry without improving its technology.
"If we do not improve the technology, we will build up for a while and then we will have to come back in 10 years time and have to do it all over again,” he said.
“So we have actually begun discussions with some of the major private landowners to look at ways how private landowners and Government could come together to figure out a way of managing these lands to ensure that we put more technology into use, raise the productivity of those lands and we can reduce the cost of tonnes per acre.”
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