Sagicor not holding Govt hostage
One of the country’s largest landowners said it was working with Government in an attempt to get the once lucrative sugar industry profitable again.
However, Sagicor Financial Corporation (SFC), which owns over 4,000 acres of land here through its subsidiary Barbados Farms Limited (BFL), promised not to hold the Freundel Stuart administration hostage.
A year ago, SFC said it was contemplating pulling out of sugar cane production because it was not profitable. At the time it cited as a key reasons for concern, an absence of a clear Government policy and direction for the industry.
Speaking with journalists earlier this week via a videoconference, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sagicor International Ravi Rambarran stated that the company has had to reclassify its land bank “to non-income producing rather than non-performing”.
Three thousand of its more than 4,000 acres of land are for agriculture, inclusive of sugar cane production.
Rambarran said BFL was working with Government to find “a path that is acceptable to both parties without significantly disrupting our communities”, but would not pressure the administration for a deadline.
“I think it would be pretty difficult for a company to hold a government to hostage.
“So putting egos aside we are simply working with the Government to find an amicable solution. There are challenges on both sides but there is no hard deadline that has been indicated to the Government of Barbados,” he said.
The Sagicor executive offered few details of the plan to help Government increase sugar production and produce cane by-products, insisting, “We can only contribute to
the extent that we both agree in the manner in which contribute.”