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Jamaica seeks to boost declining sugar industry

November 9, 2013

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Jamaica says it has launched several infrastructure projects in sugar-producing communities to boost the country’s struggling sugar industry.

Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke says the government is building 200 kilometers (124 miles) of roads this year and some 280 kilometers (174 miles) next year for farmers hauling cane. He said the government also has built affordable housing units and early childhood institutions.

Jamaica expects to receive a total of $110 million in aid from the European Union for such projects to help bolster the island’s sugar industry.

A government statement released Friday quoted Clarke as saying workers need to increase productivity for the industry to survive.

Jamaica is producing roughly 128,000 tons (11,600 metric tons) of sugar a year, down from an average 500,000 tons (453,600 metric tons) in previous years.

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