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Barbados Advocate – The 2021 sugar crop officially opened this past Monday and the first signs of the annual operation were visible yesterday. The annual harvest got off the ground with heavy activity seen at various fields across St. Philip, such as Edgecumbe, Rock Hall and Foursquare.

With all teams and systems prepared to begin work at the turn of the month, Deputy Operations Manager at the Portvale Sugar Factory, Marlon Munroe said that it was expected that grinding would commence before the end of this week. “It is hopeful that grinding operations will begin by the end of the first week of March. As you know, there are a lot of bank holidays in the months of May and April, so we expect grinding operations will be completed around the first or second week of June 2021.” 

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Indar Weir noted that despite the fallout caused by the pandemic, Barbados was on course to reap a higher yield this year than was produced last year. “If I were to compare what we produced last year, sugar cane yields gave us 90 000 tonnes and this year we are projecting 107 000 tonnes, so therefore we are increasing. We’ve produced 7 200 tonnes of sugar and we are deliberately reducing that now to 5 200 to satisfy the domestic consumption and then for export…” he said, noting that the production of molasses will move from 5 000 tonnes to 13 000 tonnes to assist the rum industry.

Weir further stated, “These are good times. I am pleased to note what is happening in the industry and I am happy to also report to you that because of the favourable rainfall, our yields are expected to be about 17.84 per acre in 2021, versus 12.14 in 2020. So all around, everything is trending in the right direction.” (MP)

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