The sale of the abandoned Carrington Sugar Factory in St Philip is not being ruled out by the Mia Mottley-led administration, as it seriously weighs its economic options.
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that while the facility was currently being used as a transit station for trucks transporting canes to Portvale, a determination would soon be made as to whether it was really serving a useful purpose for the sugar industry and for the state-owned Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC), which manages Government’s sugar lands.
He also said a determination would be made about the mechanical equipment at Carrington.
“We now have to look at that equipment to see how much of it we can repair rather than going to buy new equipment,” Weir said, adding that “if you were to take an audit of the amount of equipment up at Carrington that can value up to a substantial amount of money”.
He however acknowledged the need to modernize some of the mechanical equipment in order to reduce the frequency of breakdowns.
“I also have to make sure that Carrington Factory yard now is considered . . . whether or not it is serving a useful purpose for the sugar industry and the BAMC,” Weir added.
Asked what were some of the options open to Government for the future use of the property he pointed out that “nowadays you have equipment that can actually go into the fields . . . The carriers can go into the fields, and while the canes are being harvested, they can go straight to the carriers and from there, straight to Portvale.
“You don’t necessarily have to use a transit point anymore. So that’s an option that we have to consider,” he said, adding that the whole thrust by Government was to achieve efficiency in its various enterprises even as it negotiates balance of payment support from the International Monetary Fund for the Barbados Economic Reform and Transformation programme. (EJ)