The delayed 2015 sugar harvest, which is finally scheduled to get underway on April 7, is expected to yield a reduced output but planting is taking place for a better season next year when restructuring of the industry is expected to move into full swing.
Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick also told reporters today at the Barbados National Agricultural Conference that because of revenue challenges, Government was not in a position to effectively assist farmers in their post crop management which has resulted in yields for the 2015 crop being less than previous years.
However, he confirmed that Government was expecting to have much more canes planted, better yields and output because the money farmers need for fertilizers and pesticide management was now available for a successful 2016 season.
“We are accepting that this year is not the critical year for us because we only got the financing from Ansa Merchant Bank this year so as to manage the field side of the entire Barbados Cane Industry restructuring project. Now that we have the money in hand, we are now planning to up the output for 2016,” he said.