the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
United States Sugar Corporation and the State of Florida are negotiating final
sale of more than seventy-five thousand hectares of the company's land to the
state. The land is north of America's
famous Everglades National Park. The
park is a protected wild area of wetlands sometimes called "a biological
U.S. Sugar is America's largest cane
sugar producer. The sale is to be
completed by November thirtieth. A
temporary agreement calls for Florida to pay one-point-seven-five billion
dollars for the land and other U.S. Sugar properties.
Sugar is to continue farming the land for six years. Then the company will surrender the land and its other holdings
and close operations. It employs about
one thousand seven hundred people.
has been seeking to restore and improve the Everglades for years. The state government controls a large system
of park, forest and wildlife centers in the area. Buying U.S. Sugar would give
Florida an improved link between Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. Farming and development in the area has cut
off the natural flow of water. With
farms removed, water could collect and run down into the part of the Everglades
called the River of Grass. The River of
Grass is a natural wetland.
for the environment say they are extremely pleased by the planned sale. It comes after disputes between U.S. Sugar
and state and private groups about water flow and pollution. One environmental activist group suggests
creating environmental centers for tourists to provide jobs lost in the sale.
U.S. Sugar produces only about nine
percent of the raw sugar in the nation.
The United States gets its sugar mainly from Caribbean, South American
and other countries.
sugar industry in the United States has been trying hard to compete with less
costly imported foreign sugar. U.S.
Sugar is among leaders in representing sugar industry interests to national and
state lawmakers. Some observers say the
sugar industry will be less effective in influencing legislation without U.S.
company was established in nineteen thirty-one, during the Great
Depression. The company's Southern
Gardens Citrus operation grows and processes citrus fruit.
that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn
Watson. I'm Faith Lapidus.