Jamaica News: Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, is calling on rum-manufacturing companies to return to the tradition of partnering more with sugar cane farmers and to use more local products in their processing operations.
During a tour of National Rums of Jamaica Limited and Clarendon Distillers Limited in Lionel Town, Clarendon, on June 14, Mr. Shaw said Jamaica’s sugar cane farmers and the industry need more support from the rum-manufacturing factories across the island, and without the support, many farmers will not be motivated and more lands will remain idle.
“We have a lot of idle lands. We need to get as much of it back into production for sugar and for rum. All our entrepreneurs want is the assurance that when the crop is ready, you [rum-manufacturing companies] are ready to take the crop,” the Minister said.
Mr. Shaw also encouraged sugar cane farmers not to be discouraged, as the demand for Jamaican rum is rising and the demand for sugar cane will be rising again, based on the ripple effect.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board of Directors, National Rums of Jamaica Limited, Komal Samaroo, said he agreed with the Minister’s call.
“The rum industry, like the sugar industry, is one of the original industries of this region, and the rum grew out of sugar… . Circumstances have changed, and I believe we need to, as an industry, start changing… looking at how we reorient our sugar cane production [and] provide material inputs into the distillery process,” he said.
Mr. Samaroo noted that his organisation has started experiments of how they can incorporate more sugar in distilling their rum.
“We are at an early stage of that experiment, but if that experiment is proved successful… I believe we can see a reconfigured sugar industry, where not all the land, but some of it, is used to grow sugar cane very efficiently, [which is] harvested very efficiently and processed in the factory to the stage where the sugar is concentrated and then used in a distillery process,” he said.
Source: JIS News