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Jun 3, 2021

Rainy Season Starts; Will Northern Cane Make it to the Mills in Time?

While with the Agriculture Minister, News Five got an update on the 2020 sugar crop. People are wondering whether the industry is going to experience another loss because sugar cane in the fields will not be harvested before the rains begin – and about the access given to Santander in the west to mill sugar cane from the north. Now, A.S.R./B.S.I. contends that it will be able to mill the sugar cane in the north, but Minister Jose Mai says that the projections are showing otherwise. That is what triggered the recent Cabinet decision to allow Santander the opportunity to mill cane from the north.


Jose Mai

Jose Mai, Minister of Agriculture

“The objective is that no farmer should be left with product in the field if it can be sold to someone else. That is the objective. Farmers lost millions last year because of the drought. This year we are saying that farmers cannot allow to lose a stalk of cane. Now ASR contends that they intend to mill all the sugar cane out there. Today’s report, because we have monitoring…we have a fixed amount of cane out there right now. There is an amount of cane being milled daily. There is only so much days left before the rains come in; as a matter of fact, we are already in the rainy season. We are fortunate that it is not raining yet, too intense in the north.”


Duane Moody

“So the projections are that ASR will not be able to mill what is left in the fields?”


Jose Mai

“Exactly. We have done several studies; we have done about three verification exercises to tell us how much cane is out there left. We know how much has been milled; we know what is the mill’s capacity. When you combine these factors, it is impossible in our view for ASR to mill all that cane. Yesterday, the entire of this week, the mill has had serious technical problems that milling rate has dropped again. When you take the average daily grinding rate and you project it, there is no way that the mill will be able to absorb all that sugar cane.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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