The mills as enabling sugar production technologies were simple technology. On the economy of scale perspective, capital equipment of factories was a costly investment. Small farmers sold their sugarcane to large central mills they owned through co-operative structured arrangements. However, most of the factory mill complexes employed animal mills like classic vertical three-crusher animal mill rather than steam mills (Green, 2007, p. 507). This is despite the fact that byproducts like bagasse would be utilized for power production that could prove useful to steam mills. This was evident in Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Cuba and Barbados that had some re engineering techniques to maintain and sustain.
Despite much contribution of the sugar plantations to the Caribbean colonies and global economies, sugar plantation economy faced various challenges at the start of 19th century. These challenges were in terms of slave abolition and rebellions, trade interruption and emergence of the sugar beet industry which threatened to collapse the industry in Caribbean. But UK and US trade agreements rescued the sugar plantation in the Caribbean islands. This is evident by US amalgamations and investments in 1930s, especially in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Cuba that increased sugar productivity. The greatest move that rescued the industry was the act of carrying slaves to US, sugar to Britain and realized money going back to purchase slaves in Africa.