BSCFA Chairman Says Sugar Prices Do Not Need to Increase
Members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) demand an intervention by the Government of Belize to address their concerns. The BSCFA argues that without fair pricing and improved market access, farmers will struggle to maintain their livelihoods and the industry as a whole will suffer. The Management Committee Chairman, Alfredo Ortega, also touched on the topic of the price increase that was requested by two other sugarcane farming groups from the north. Ortega says that there are other ways to circumvent this price increase, which will only add to the burden on consumers’ pockets.
Alfredo Ortega, Chairman, Committee of Management, BSCFA: “We have placed on the table where we are asking changing from Net Stripped Value to gross revenue of 60/40 where we have seen it’s nothing that we invented it’s something that we have seen has been working around the world and we believe that that is the way we need to go so that we can end out with all those doubt that we have and also we can end out with all BSI is putting above us charging more and charging more and charging more and when it comes to the division it’s less for the farmers. Since 2012 we were asking for an increase of the price of sugar and they didn’t went through that until 2015 after the election. We asked for both sugars for the white sugar, the plantation white and the brown sugar to be increased nevertheless the government at the time only increased the white sugar on which we stayed like that for quite a while. Now we didn’t know, as BSCFA we didn’t know that BSI had already sent a paper to the Prime Minister on which they have been asking for an increase on price of the brown sugar and lately we get to understand that the two other associations have sent their request to the Prime Minister also to increase the sugar. We are not in agreement into that because there are many other ways where the price per ton of cane can be increased in favor of the farmer without having to penalize the Belizean consumers in raising the price of sugar because if they raise the price of sugar believe me you that the bread and other stuff where the sugar is the basis of use of it will be increased so we as the BSCFA don’t support that. What we want is that that 40/60 be instituted and then the farmers will get a better payment for their cane.”