Current Affairs

Current Affairs



Sugar production boosts agricultural output
Observer Reporter
Thursday, December 27, 2001

THE Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), has attributed the estimated $8.5- million output in the agricultural sector for the second quarter of 2001, to the huge increase in sugar cane production.

This figure represents a 19 per cent increase over the figure for the corresponding quarter of 2000.

In is Economic Update and Outlook for the July to September quarter, the PIOJ stated that the value of sugarcane increased to $1,167.92 million, from $203.6 million for the corresponding period of the previous year.
The report stated that the volume of agriculture output, as indicated by the PIOJ's index of Agricultural Production, increased by 2.6 per cent over the similar period of the previous year. This increase represents the third successive quarter of positive growth in 2001
Meanwhile, the volume of sugarcane crushed amounted to 101,824 tonnes, compared with 17,167 tonnes during the corresponding period of 2000. The report noted, too, that the relatively large increase in sugar cane milled during the review quarter was due to delays in milling operations, which caused a shift in production activities from January to June.

However, the PIOJ pointed out that although there was an increase in the amount of sugar cane milled during the current crop year, there was a 5.5 per cent decline in the volume of sugar produced.
In each of the first three quarters of 2000, the report said that there was negative growth as a result of unfavourable weather conditions.

"Although there was drought in some parishes during the review quarter, the sector continued to benefit from increased crop acreage and government assistance in the form of distribution of seeds, planting material and other inputs."

For the domestic crop sub-sector, there was increased acreage of 6.2 per cent, which reflected a two per cent growth in output relative to the similar period of 2000.
"All the crop groups with the exception of vegetables, showed increases ranging from 2.2 per cent to 32.3 per cent.

However, vegetables, which declined in production, showed an increase in farm gate price. The traditional export crop sub-sector showed an increase of 62.2 per cent in production over the corresponding period last year.
With regard to the livestock sector, the production of poultry, was estimated to have declined by 4.4 per cent. This reduction was due to over-supply during the previous quarter, the report stated.