After a satisfactory 2017 sugar crop, officials say next year is definitely looking more positive.
General Manager of the Barbados Agricultural Management Company, Leslie Parris says based on initial and conservative predictions by farmers, sugar production should increase by 10 percent or more, continuing the trend over the last two years.
Mr Parris says up to the end of June this year, Portvale Factory processed 132, 845.08 tonnes of sugar, compared with 83, 369.20 tonnes for the same period in 2016.
He explains that a number of factors have come together to produce the improved numbers expected for 2018.
Among them, he says the estimated 20 farmers in the industry were able to access the incentives provided by Government under the cane industry restructuring project, allowing them to plant more.
The industry has also been able to satisfy the four thousand tonnes per annum needed for the domestic market, while still having enough to export to the region and the European Union.
Mr Parris explains that the money earned from domestic consumption is higher than what farmers would earn from outside sales.
On the side of the factory, Mr Parris has reported that preparation at Portvale is well underway with maintenance and repairs on track to be completed by the 3rd week in January.
That means, if weather and other influencing factors cooperate, the 2018 crop should start in mid-February.