UPDATED: June 28, 2013
With all the current talk about injecting $450 million into the ruins of our sugar industry and splurging on a “retro-fit” (whatever that REALLY means) for the St. Joseph sugar factory, we’re going to revisit this earlier article for a day.
Also worthwhile is a piece by our old friend Colin Beadon, who says forget about sugar – Barbados should grow food.
Time to kill the beast that will not die
by “Mr. Thompson”
“Politicians would have you believe that the sugar cane industry is a major employer and having it collapse would have significant social and economic impacts on the country. I would suggest the opposite, subsidizing its survival will result in social and economic hardships for the country.”
Recently both national newspapers have published political articles about the Barbados sugar industry and what has to be done for its survival.
- Why should the Barbados sugar industry survive ?
- Why are taxpayers paying tax dollars to subsidize every pound of sugar produced ?
- Why did St Lucia, Dominican, Jamaica etc. get out of the sugar cane business ?
- What happened to the BIO FUEL idea ?
- Why we need sugar cane for the Rum Industry
- Why we need sugar cane for local sugar consumption
Quoted from: FT.com
First, Caribbean cane sugar production is becoming increasingly uneconomic.
Several of Europe’s former Caribbean colonies that export sugar have been producing at a cost about three times the world market price. Their industries have been made viable only because of the high and guaranteed prices paid by the European Union for the shipments under an agreed quota. The producers get the same price the EU pays its domestic sugar producers.
But the EU is changing its policies after complaints from big sugar producing countries, led by Brazil, Thailand and Australia, that argued that European subsidies were unfair. The World Trade Organisation agreed with some of these complaints.
The EU says it will cut guaranteed sugar prices by 36 per cent over four years, starting this year(2007). The reduction will cost the exporters significantly. The loss of foreign earnings being faced by some governments will be compounded by higher jobless rates if industries are unable to survive without the crutch of high artificial prices from Europe. Under the new EU sugar regime, Caribbean sugar producers will receive about 16 cents a pound, compared with a cost of production of between 35 and 40 cents for some of the region’s costly operators.
The Barbados Sugar Cane industry as it now exists should not survive; it’s simply not cost effective.
Politicians would have you believe that the sugar cane industry is a major employer and having it collapse would have significant social and economic impacts on the country. I would suggest the opposite, subsidizing its survival will result in social and economic hardships for the country.
Numerous Caribbean countries recognized when the EU cut subsidies that sugar cane production was uneconomical and thus got out of the business.
The Bio Fuel proposal was another political fantasy, any half sane individual would quickly determine the idea was impractical for a small cane producer like Barbados.
Barbados does need to produce sufficient sugar cane to support its well known RUM and Molasses unsubsidized industries.
Yes Barbados should produce sufficient sugar cane to provide for local consumption.
Local Barbadian politicians have to step up to the plate, bite the bullet and stop using Tax Payers money to subsidize an uneconomical industry. They could better spend Tax Payers money on trying to develop some form of agricultural activity to feed the populace and limit food imports.
Let the dinosaur go extinct.
…written by “Mr. Thompson”