The ability of sugar industry in the region to survive after the removal of production quotas in the European Union (EU) on 30 September, 2017, will depend on improved competitiveness and pragmatic diversification options, according to a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat official. The end of EU's quota management for sugar is expected to lead to a fall in prices towards the international sugar price and a decrease in sugar imports from the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, with particular impact on Caribbean producers. In an address on 23 March to the opening of a regional policy workshop in Kingston, Jamaica, that addressed the Caribbean Sugar Industry Post-2017, CARICOM Secretariat programme manager, agriculture and industry, Nisa Surujbally, said that securing more remunerative markets, value addition and an enabling policy regime within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) were also very important to the industry's survival. "We have witnessed major structural changes in the operations of our sugar industries, including the exit from sugar production of two member states, Trinidad and Tobago and St Kitts and Nevis. Nevertheless, we are mindful of the vital role and contribution of the sugar sectors to the economies of Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Jamaica. Survivability of these industries, after the removal of production quotas in the EU on September 30 2017, will in no small measure be a function of improved competitiveness, securing more remunerative markets, value addition, an enabling policy regime within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, and, not lastly, practical and pragmatic diversification options.
Source: Carribean News Now