The Keith Mitchell-led government has indicated a willingness to help resuscitate the almost extinct sugar cane industry on the island to help give a boost to rum distillery.
This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture, Yolande Bain-Horsford during her presentation in the 2017 Budget debate in the Lower House in Parliament last Wednesday at the Trade Centre at Grand Anse.
She said that there is a collaboration taking place between the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Implementation to forge a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with a new company in Ireland that is spearheading a new rum distillery.
The minister said the new company will be operated by Irish businessman, Mark Reynier.
“Our Ministry has forged a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with a new company which is the renegade spirits through the KANICO Projects.
Renegade Spirits is owned by one Mr. Mark Renier of Ireland; a well renowned distiller who chaired two important and successful distilling projects in Scotland and Ireland,” she told Parliament.
This new project, she said which shows promise of growth and development has prompted the Sugar Cane Farmers Association into action after being dormant for a number of years.
The project was launched in September and with it came the clearing of lands in Westerhall, St. David for sugar cane cultivation.
According to Minister Bain-Horsford an irrigation system has also been put in place and the company procured hybrid cane plants for establishing a Cane germplasm.
“…I must say thank you to the staff of the Pest Management Unit who have ensured that all permits, Mr Speaker have been granted for the issue of the culture plants and to the other staff of the Ministry for processing the request for concessions for project equipment in a very timely manner,” she said.
The sugarcane will be planted on 270 acres of land by December 2017 while the initial processing will be done by 2019.
The female government minister announced that when the new rum distillery is up and running, it will produce world class products for the export market.