CXC English A exam: Past paper type summary writing question 18

Here is a CXC past paper type summary writing question.

This is the type of question that appears in SECTION A of the CXC CSEC English A exam


(Suggested time: 35 minutes)

You MUST answer the question in this section

1. Read the following extract carefully and then write a summary in NOT MORE THAN 120 words and, as far as possible, in your OWN words. Your summary must be in continuous prose and in paragraph form. If this limit is exceeded, only the first 120 words of your answer will be read and assessed.

Although some Caribbean states went out of cane production many years ago, for the most part the industry has flourished and sugar has remained the English-speaking Caribbean's premier export crop buoyed by high prices and preferential trading agreements first with the United Kingdom and European Community.

More recently, some sugar industries in the Caribbean have proved unviable as much larger global producers such as Brazil and Australia have begun to export and world market prices have declined. In response, in some of the region's economies newer industries such as tourism have enabled Caribbean economies to diversify.

Despite this, sugar still plays a key role. In Jamaica, as many as 200 000 people (about 8% of the Jamaican population of 2.6 million) derive their livelihood directly or indirectly from the sugar industry. Sugar cane is grown in almost every single parish and nearly half of the land under permanent agricultural crops is in sugar cane. The industry also makes a vital contri bution to Jamaica's foreign exchange earnings bringing in excess of US $100 million each year in foreign exchange. Beyond this, sugar plays a significant role in maintaining rural environment. The planting of cane protects the soil from erosion and creates a habitat in which a wide range of Jamaican fauna is able to flourish.

Now much of this has to change. The decision by Europe to cut its preferential price over a three-year period as a result of a World Trade Organization ruling has led industries across the region to review their viability. Some such as St. Kitts have decided to move out of the production of raw sugar for export altogether. Others like Barbados are looking at adding value to their small industry through marketing of organic and branded specialty sugars.

Achieving the economies of scale that this transition requires will be far from easy. It will require all the European support that has been promised and more. It will involve a significant investment in the modernization of the industry as well as the retraining of some personnel to enable them to migrate to other forms of agriculture or to the region's fast expanding tourism sector.

Adapted from David Jessop "The bitter taste of sugar".
Skywritings, May/June 2006, pp.36-37

(Total 30 marks)

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