BSI/ASR is announcing tonight that the 2019-2020 crop season closed yesterday. And, as everyone in the industry was expecting, the cane crop in the north under-performed due to the drought, and the ongoing, COVID-induced economic crisis.
The Millers say that while this year's production figures well-bellow recent results, this year's harvest was a demonstration of the industry's resilience as it battled last year's drought, the ongoing pandemic, pests, and floods.
The grinding season started in mid-January due to severe drought. The amount of cane grinded fell from last season's total of 1,317,626 metric tonnes to only 893,662 metric tonnes. The sugar produced also decreased to less 88,000 metric tonnes, which were produced in 189 days of milling. Last year's total sugar production was 156,646 metric tonnes, which was done over 214 days in the last season.
ASR Vice President Mac McLachlan is quoted as saying, "The drought had a significant impact on production and the negative impact was far greater than expected. However, due to the strategic value-added investment projects by the company, which allowed the mill to produce more direct consumption sugar this year, will help offset some of the negative impacts. As an industry, we must continue to improve production efficiencies while expanding markets, especially in CARICOM."
The millers are also stressing that urgent steps need to be taken to make the industry climate-resilient. As viewers are aware, the country's agro-productive sectors struggled with 2 consecutive years of droughts.Channel 7