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Sugar Industry of the Caribbean

Nature volume 162, page 137 (24 July 1948) | Download Citation



SUGAR still occupies the first place in Caribbean economy, despite the severe and growing competition in other parts of the world. The factors concerned with this economy are considered at length in “The Sugar Industry of the Caribbean”, compiled by the Caribbean Research Council (Washington, D.C., 1947. Crop Inquiry Series No. 6). Some Caribbean territories have been unable to withstand competition and have given up sugar cultivation, whereas in others there has been an increase; but increase is most noted in production, not acreage. This has been greatly helped by research work on new varieties more resistant to disease, and the study of pests. Cane breeding is now active in Barbadoes, British Guiana and Puerto Rico. Experimental work with various fertilizers has had useful results, and there has been a great increase in the import of fertilizers. Sulphate of ammonia is the chief fertilizer. The estates without manure now form a minority. Another change in the industry of cane-growing is the increase in mechanization, especially in United States territories. Weeding and harvesting are still done largely by hand. Generally speaking, there is great scope for the use of more machinery as well as for the centralization of production.

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