AFRICAN Caribbean Pacific sugar-producing countries were urged to begin looking at value adding their products and at the same time, continue negotiations with global sugar buyers outside of the European Union.
According to Mark Titus, a reporter with The Gleaner in Jamaica, ACP countries at the 45th International Sugar Organisation council conference in Montego Bay were told to begin taking urgent measures beginning with the 2015 cane crop.
"It is a call for urgency because time is fast running out," he said.
"Small producers especially were urged to increase production and look into value-added products like molasses and ethanol production.
"They were also asked to look at domestic and regional markets.
"For example, in Jamaica the cost of electricity is high because the cost of fuel is high. So there is a push towards ethanol production which would lower the cost of fuel and, in turn, decrease power costs.
"However, to do this, sugarcane production would have to increase substantially because of the amount of cane needed to produce ethanol to make the project viable."