“Sugar is the most economic and most efficient source of production of ethanol.” That was a statement made by the Mauritian Minister of Agro-Industry at the opening ceremony of the 31st session of the International Sugar Council (ISC) at the International Conference centre at Grand Bay.
The Minister’s statement is pertinent at a moment when our sugar industry is facing new challenges. The Sugar Protocol, which guaranteed a market and a favourable price, is no longer valid. Alternative uses have become all the more imperative if we want to preserve our sugar-based economy. The poduction of ethanol is one such option in limiting the use of fossil fuel which generate greenhouse gases with detrimental impacts on climate change.
“In that context,” said the Minister, “Mauritius along with many other ACP developing countries is currently implementing Multi Annual Adaptation Strategies to sustain the sugar industry in the light of the EU reforms. These strategies that have been put forward are basically aimed at operating the sugar industry on the model of a cluster producing sugar, energy and ethanol in flexi-factories to reduce costs, increase revenue, and optimize use of by-products “.
Participants from 81 countries will continue to reflect on the theme ” Sugarcane – an Engine for Sustainable Development ” until Thursday 31 May.