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Agricultural Economics

In: Social Issues

Submitted By kimica
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The article entitled From a KING to a PAUPER, dated March 2, 2014, extracted from the Sunday Gleaner, discusses likely negative outcomes for the Jamaica Sugar Industry in years to come. The writer predicts a dim future for the sugar industry which once ruled the roost.
Summary
Jamaica is currently a top-flight sugar producing nation, however according to Western Bureau: Chairman of the Caribbean Karl James, all that could change by 2020 if Jamaica does not seek to implement new and creative strategies to add value to their product. This is very important as there will be a reduction in the price of bulk sugar.
It is being recommended that Jamaica invest in a refinery. Jamaica currently imports 70 to 80 tonnes of refined sugar annually. If this venture is capitalized on then Jamaica will definitely remain a top sugar nation due to reasons like the fact that there is no refinery in the Caribbean hence Jamaica could become a regional market that absorbs about 300 tonnes of refined sugar annually. It was also established that a move into the by-products of sugar cane is crucial.
The three year deal between Jamaica and British firm Tate and Lyle which allows for Jamaica to export 50 to 60 tonnes of sugar each crop year to them is in its second year. The venture yield a good portion of income but this is likely to dwindle after the agreement expires because of market trends.
The process to abolish sugar quotas is underway and is expected to be in full effect by 2017. Donovan Stanberry, the secretary in the ministry of agriculture urges that the Jamaica sugar industry practice diversification in order to be more versatile and to yield more income from by-products. Jamaica must act quickly in order to save their industry from becoming just a part of history.

Briefing of the industry
The Jamaican sugar industry is over 500 years old, dating back to 1509 when the island was under Spanish rule. Later under the British plantation system the island became the major producer and leading exporter of sugar in the world. The industry achieved its highest level of production in 1965when 516,825 tonnes of sugar were produced from 4,731,943 tonnes of cane reaped from 59,773hectares. At that time eighteen factories were in operation. Because of the need to increase efficiency and benefit from economies of scale the number of factories operating on the island declined steadily from 140 in 1900 to the current number of 8.

Critique of the article

The article reflects the feelings of individuals on the Jamaica Sugar Industry. There are currently eight factories operating in the industry. They are Frome, Monymusk, Bernard Lodge, Appleton, Long Pond, Worthy Park, St. Thomas Sugar Estates and Hampden. In the writer’s opinion, based on evidences and observed trends, the Jamaica sugar industry which at the moment is considered to be a top producer will lose its status in years to come. Currently Jamaica is in an agreement with the British firm Tate and Lyle. This deal spans over a three year time period. Currently the agreement is in its second year and no doubt this deal has caused Jamaica to become quite comfortable as they are gaining a relaxed amount of income.
Did the author support his main points?
The main objective of the article was to give evidences to support the reason for saying that Jamaica’s sugar industry will no longer be booming in the near future. The author supported his argument by giving quotations from three persons. These persons are Western Bureau: Chairman of the Sugar Association of the Caribbean Karl James, Donovan Stanberry permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Josh Jadoo, a former director of the Factories Services Division of the Sugar Industry Research Institute. Overall, all three persons that the author made reference to holds the same beliefs as it relates to the Jamaican sugar industry. According to James if Jamaica does not invest in a refinery and add value to the product then there will be a dim future for the industry. Stanberry believes that after the three year agreement expires the industry will be in doom if they do not become creative and he believes the practice of by-product is crucial to the survival of the industry, likewise Jadoo stated that the industry will become history if they do not become versatile and practice diversification. The author also gave important statistical information relating to the main point.
Importance/relevance of the article
The article was educational and very useful. This is so because it highlighted important facts as it relates to the industry, such as the importance of a refinery and the importance of creativity and diversification and the implications of not doing so. The information presented was clear and concise. The references were credible to some extent. This is so because the individuals that were referred to are persons who work and operate in the sugar industry, and would prove to have current knowledge of the industry. The article is relevant as it relates to individuals interested in joining the sector. The article could serve as an eye opener to young, creative and innovative persons seeking jobs that could be of great assistance in the furtherance of the industry.
The author was not bias and the article was not opinionated. The article was basically written using the views of others.
Limitations of the article
The author only used quotations in which he made reference of three individuals. He could have selected a sample of persons from a larger population to get the views of more persons.
The author could have used various sampling techniques. A sample is normally selecting from a population to derive a reasonable conclusion. He could have also conducted a feasibility study as it relates to introducing a refinery in the Jamaica sugar industry. A feasibility study’s main goal is to assess the economic viability of the proposed business. The feasibility study needs to answer the question: “Does the idea make economic sense?” The study should provide a thorough analysis of the business opportunity, including a look at all the possible roadblocks that may stand in the way of the cooperative’s success. The outcome of the feasibility study will indicate whether or not to proceed with the proposed venture. If the results of the feasibility study are positive, then a business plan should be developed.…...

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