Barbados’ agricultural industry is planning to expand its reach to the renewable energy sector by producing biomass energy.
Speaking to the House Assembly on Tuesday, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Indar Weir, announced the establishment of Grow Energy – a company that will produce by-products such as molasses, syrup and biomass energy.
Minister Weir shared that stakeholders in the industry, such as the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC), Barbados Sugar Industry Limited (BSIL), and private farmers, want “to be part of the renewable energy transformation that is coming to Barbados”.
The dormant Bulkeley Sugar Factory in St George has been selected as the location to commence the project.
Minister Weir said: “We are the point of creating space at Bulkeley for Grow Energy and the BAMC to enter into an arrangement where the two can work together and create synergies with cane grass and sugarcane so that you would have two rotations and we are looking for consistency and supply. So you can do energy going the full value chain meaning cane to molasses or syrup to sugar to renewable energy to fertilizers.”
Sugar cane cultivation began in Barbados in the 1640s and the 18th century, there were over 600 plantations on the island.
Today, there are only 2 major plantations and 1,500 small farms which produce sugar on the island.
Andrew Stoute, Research Director at the West Indies Central Sugar Cane Breeding Station, said: “Sugar cane is well placed to meet any demands which Minister Weir has indicated for the future development of the cane industry in Barbados.” (Loop News Barbados)