“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 The Sugar Protocol,?which?guaranteed?a?market?and a favourable price, is no longer valid.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.