Sugar Crop Season Opens Amidst Concerns

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Updated: December 7, 2015

The 2015/2016 Sugar Cane Crop Season officially opened today. The sugar factory at Tower Hill began milling the first few tons of cane this morning after ten o’clock. However, not everything is sweet in the sugar industry at the moment. All three cane farmers association had to convince the Government of Belize of increase the price of sugar in the local market. By January 2016, you will be paying twenty five cents more for a pound of sugar.  This was a result of the farmers expressing serious concerns of the first price estimates which was lower when compared to last year. In addition, in 2017 Belize will have to do without the EU preferential market and compete in a global scale. The media was invited to the factory today and Shaun Chavarria, the Financial Controller led a part of the familiarization tour as he spoke on the factory’s investments specially the one million dollar dumper that has been installed to increase the factory’s efficiency time.

 

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Currently an estimated 1.7 million tons of cane are out in the fields.  However, for this season, the factory would not be able to grind that much. Chair of the Sugar Industry Control Board, Gabriel Martinez who also formed part of the tour expressed his concerns on that situation.

 

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Jose Novelo of the Sugar Control Production Committee, spoke about a long term strategic plan that should benefit the sugar industry.

 

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Today the factory milled just over four thousand tons of cane. As days go by that figure is set to increase to an average of seven thousand tons of cane.