Permanent Secretary for Sugar, Yogesh Karan says that since 2016 there has been a 30 percent increase in sugar cane yield.
Karan says cane growers are making profits averaging from $25 to $35 for every tonne of cane which is nearly 30 to 40 percent gross margin after costs are met.
Karan says both the cane production and yield has continually increased from 1.39 million tonnes of cane and 37 tonnes of yield per hectare to 1.81 million tonnes in 2019 with a yield of 48 tonnes per hectare.
He says on average, the cane production cost is $31.00 per tonne and average harvesting and cartage cost of $30.00 per tonne adding about 40 percent of the cane production cost is absorbed by the Government through weedicide subsidies of 55 percent and fertiliser subsidies which are 56 percent.
Karan says when compared to other businesses, the growers are way better off at cane payment of $85 per tonne and the higher the yield for farmers, the higher their total net income.
The Permanent Secretary reiterates Government will continue with its ongoing support and commitment to sustain the industry.
Karan says Government has allocated more than $15 million towards the Fertilizer Subsidy Programme in the 2020-2021 financial year to ensure that the growers apply the required amount of fertiliser to their cane fields and replenish nutrient loss.
Karan adds the Ministry will also introduce the green manuring programme which is a process whereby leguminous plants such as pulses, lentils, peas, peanuts and mucuna that are capable of trapping nitrogen from the atmosphere are incorporated into the soil to improve soil health.
He says these plants will be cultivated on the same land few months prior to cane planting.
The Ministry of Sugar is allocated a total of $53.6 million in the 2020/21 National Budget.
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