|EU Money For Sugar Industry|
Jamaica’s Sugar Industry is in transition and the EU has forked out some big bucks, to help the process.
The document for the disbursement of J$365-million (€ 3.69m) was signed this week by Prime Minister Bruce Golding and the Head of the European Commission Delegation, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi-Alemanni. This agreement covers the second installmentof the fixed tranche of the 2007 sector budget support programme for assistance to the sugar industry.
Jamaica will be receiving approximately J$9-billion for the 2006-2010 periods under the European Commission fund for Adjustment Measures for Sugar dependent countries. These sugar funds are part of the total funds that the European Commission is committing. Another J$12.2billion has been allocated for Jamaica under the 10th European Development Fund for the period 2008-2013.
Speaking at the signing today, Prime Minister Bruce Golding noted that negotiations between government and Infiniti Bio-energy of Brazil for the divestment of the sugar assets were well advanced and once concluded, redundancy will be paid to the workers.
Government has developed Sugar area development programmes for the areas to be impacted by the global decrease in sugar prices and divestment of government sugar sector assets. Implementation of these programmes has started under the direction of the Ministry of Agriculture. Mr. Golding said government’s continued commitment to the modernization of the industry includes the recent introduction of E10 gasoline which will be fully rolled out islandwide by April 2009.
The Government is also putting in place measures to mitigate the potential economic and social consequences of the transformation process through a socio-economic programme for the sugar dependent areas.
Ambassador Alemanni has welcomed the signing noting that he was looking forward to the time when Jamaica would be able to switch from importing E10 to producing its own E10.
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