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JAMAICA | Govt must act in the interest of sugar workers in Clarendon, St Thomas

Opposition Spokesman on Agriculture, Dr. Fenton Ferguson. Opposition Spokesman on Agriculture, Dr. Fenton Ferguson.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, January 28, 2019: Opposition Shadow Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Fenton Ferguson is calling on the Minister of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw and the Cabinet of Jamaica to rethink their position on the closure of the Moneymusk Sugar Factory in Clarendon and the transporting of sugar cane to the Worthy Park and Appleton factories from the parish.

In a press release yesterday, Dr. Ferguson said “while there might be split views within the Cabinet on the continuation of a sugar industry, it would be premature at this time to close the Moneymusk factory given the hardships that the workers, farmers, businesses, transport industry and schools will face.”

He said the economic impact on thousands of persons as a result of a $34M fortnightly pay bill fallout in the area will be devastating.

The Shadow Minister is also calling on the Cabinet to seriously consider the proposal put forward by critical stakeholders, inclusive of the Ministry of Agriculture personnel, to keep the factory open for the 2019-2020 season as it will not be a significant burden to the Government when the returns from sale of the sugar are taken into account.

The Opposition is therefore demanding an aggressive approach to the negotiations with potential investors who have shown an interest in Moneymusk so that timely arrangements can be made for the 2020-2021 season.

In the meantime, Dr. Ferguson is reminding the Minister and the Government to be proactive in dealing with the Golden Grove Sugar Factory that is facing its last season with the Seprod Group and so the people of St. Thomas, and Duckenfield in particular, will not be faced with a similar situation as the people of Clarendon.

  • Countries: Jamaica
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