BSCFA to hold emergency meeting tomorrow
While that two years is too long for the Prime Minister, the members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association will know tomorrow what they will ultimately do. That’s because the association has an emergency meeting on Thursday to determine what’s next. Love News today asked Alfredo Ortega, the BSCFA’s Committee of Management chairman, about it.
Alfredo Ortega, Chairman, Committee of Management, BSCFA: “We’ll be holding an emergency general meeting tomorrow where will be presenting to our farmers where we ended up with the mediation because this last one that was thrown yesterday we didn’t have well nothing was thrown on the table when we were in the mediation so it just came out yesterday from BSI. So we will present all three from BSI which are the two they had put on the table before and this one that they took out yesterday. So we’ll be presenting that to our farmers and also our proposal that we sent to BSI we’ll present all of that to our farmers tomorrow so that they can have an opportunity to analyze it and then come up with something during the meeting that will be held tomorrow.”
But the longstanding dispute between the association and BSI/ASR is centred – in part – on a lack of trust. On one side, the farmers often feel cheated and on the other, the miller is frustrated by work stoppages and what they perceive as intransigence. We asked Ortega today whether he feels optimistic about the next crop season. Here’s what he had to say.
Alfredo Ortega, Chairman, Committee of Management, BSCFA: “We believe that something will come out tomorrow from the farmer’s side because we don’t want to hold the crop also for a quite long period of time without having a crop because our farmers need to deliver their products also. But at the same time what we are looking for is something better for our farmers nevertheless we were unable to reach that agreement with BSI so we will be signing whatsoever the farmers agree to tomorrow and we hope that we can continue on on future endeavors in trying to get a better agreement which will give more justice to the farmers. Like I said it will depend on tomorrow’s meeting that we have and we believe that as you know last time we had involvement of the government more openly. It’s not that we don’t have the support but we’re looking forward to trying to see that we can come out with something tomorrow that will not stop or delay any more the season because as we speak there were many farmers that were unable to deliver not because of the stop because many of them blame that because of the stoppage we had to start last crop that the BSCFA is at fault but that’s not true. Each and everyone knows the behavior of the mill during the crop season and that is one of the factors along with the weather that made a lot of farmers stay with cane in the field. So we don’t want those farmers to lose their product and we are looking forward to get hold on something at least so that the crop can start and the farmers can deliver their cane. So the BSCFA is not trying to delay anything. We want a crop to start but at the same time we put forward that we didn’t reach an agreement with BSI in what we were negotiating with them. We have reached to this point so yes we will be getting the approval of the farmers tomorrow I believe at least if it is one year whatsoever the farmers agree we should come out with something tomorrow so that the crop can start.”