Gov’t closer to exiting sugar industry – Weir

Government confirmed on Monday that it will be exiting the sugar cane industry in Barbados and handing it over to the private sector.

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Security, Indar Weir outlined details of the plan to privatise the sector when he appeared on the Down to Brass Tacks talk show on Monday on VOB 92.9 FM.

“Right now, we are at the point of transitioning, where the sugar industry of Barbados will be privately owned,” Weir said. “The government of Barbados will be coming out of that space.

“We started the process where we took a committee to deal with this, and there is an enfranchisement model going into place, where the canefields that are in production under the Barbados Agricultural Management Corporation (BAMC) will be owned now by the members of staff, so that they will take full responsibility for the ownership and upkeep and everything else.”

The minister said the new arrangement will be fertile ground for investors with a plan to use facilities to generate renewable energy.

“The private farmers and the farmers that will be part of the enfranchisement model will own the Portvale factory, which will produce bio-mass and generate 10 megawatts of renewable energy,” he said.

“There is a prospectus that is being prepared and that prospectus will allow private investment in the factory.”

Weir said the new arrangement will be another opportunity for Barbadians to invest and get a generous return on investment.

He said the prospectus is scheduled to be released in December.

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