St. Kitts Sugar Industry closes down
On 22 July, two locomotives brought the last canes for processing
at the St. Kitts Sugar Manufacturing Corporation (SSMC) factory,
and so signalled the closing of the island’s 300-year old sugar industry.
The St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union and the management of
the SSMC have reached an agreement on the redundancy of
the remaining 1,500 sugar workers,
but full details have not yet been revealed.
A late July session of the National Assembly debated a resolution
to officially close the sugar industry in island.
According to the local press, the resolution encouraged
financial institutions to create special financial packages
for sugar workers interested in farming, fishing and small business,
and introduced duty-free concessions on the importation of farming tools,
equipment, and inputs for farming and small business related to
farming which would be established by sugar workers.
The resolution also proposed that the equipment owned by
the sugar industry become part of the protected heritage of the island,
making it an offence to remove it without authorization from the government.