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Cabinet Approves Commission To Review Sugar Industry

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Cabinet has approved the appointment of a Commission to review, enquire and make recommendations as to changes, if any, to the current regulatory, institutional and pricing arrangements in the sugar sector.

This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, in a statement to the House of Representatives on February 23.

Dr. Tufton informed that the overall objective of the review is to establish the relevance of the current regulatory, institutional and pricing arrangements in the sugar industry, given the changes in the domestic and international environment.

The Minister said the House of Representatives will be advised of the name of the proposed Commissioner.

“Given the prospect of a sugar cane industry dominated by private players and the changing sugar market situation in Europe, which has resulted from the ending of the sugar Protocol, it is now critical that a review of the industry’s regulatory, institutional and cane pricing arrangements is undertaken,” Dr. Tufton said.

“In fact, under the European Union Accompanying Measures for Sugar (AMS) Programme, the Government of Jamaica has undertaken to restructure the regulatory and institutional framework of the sector. A review of the relevance of the current regulatory and pricing arrangements in this sector is part of the specific conditions for release of approximately Euro17 million (J$2.2 billion) of European Union grant funds during Financial Year 2010/11,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton said that the Government remains optimistic about the future of the sugar industry.

“We are greatly encouraged by the significant improvement in world sugar prices linked to the shortfall in sugar production in India. We are further encouraged by the opportunities in our domestic and regional markets for both raw and refined sugar,” Dr. Tufton said.

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