Sugarcane As Industrial Commodity Pressed
by Melody M. Aguiba (Manila Bulletin) The government should now position sugarcane as an industrial commodity, particularly for bioethanol, and sugar as a mere by-product which is the way to survive in a stiffly competitive environment by 2015.
This new policy regime was asserted by San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. (SCBI), Philippines’ first integrated ethanol and cogeneration plant operator.
As the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) comes full blown by 2015 for a zero tariff regime, SBI stressed the Philippines may hardly be able to survive competition in sugar which can leave its farmers and processors with less income. Present sugar tariff is at 28 percent.
“We should look at India as model for diversification. In India, the major product (from sugarcane) is power, and sugar becomes a by-product. This is the way for us to prepare for 2015 zero tariff. We should get more revenue stream from sugar,” said SCBI Vice President Arnel J. Amparo in an interview. READ MORE