The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) has had questions about the formula by which ASR/BSI calculates the net value of the sugar. Currently, the cane farmers are paid using the Net Strip Value of Sugar which they say is not beneficial for the farmers. The BSCFA has made recommendations to move away from this method and adopt payment based on the gross revenue of sugar. According to Minister of Agriculture, Jose Mai, the shift in payment methods will lead to more transparency.
Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture: “The problem right now is that BSI has a cost and those costs are what the farmers always question. Is it real? Is it inflated? And many times the farmers are convinced that these costs are inflated and, therefore, they want to change to a gross and not net. That is what they are requesting and the northern caucus has agreed unanimously to support the BSCFA in this instance. Payment method for cane farmers is based on the net strip value: 65% for cane farmers and 35% for ASR. BSCFA is saying that they want to move away from that to a, is it, 60/40. That is what now is being proposed.”