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Gallons of Herbicide Found in Cane Delivery

A massive influx of extraneous material being delivered with cane to BSI is cause for great concern. Recently, the Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) has been getting large amounts of extraneous material. It started with stones and rubble but quickly escalated to metal and even bicycle parts being found. This raises concerns because, according to BSI, these materials lead to the premature breakdown of milling equipment. Minister Mai says that he hopes it is not intentional.

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise: “And I’ll be very disappointed if farmers are trying to sabotage the mill. Sabotaging the mill is like sabotaging the farmer himself, it’s not a good practice. It is not good, it is bad for business it is bad for the industry. I understand today they found two gallons of I think paraquat or something in the cane trucks harvested with a harvester I understand I look at the reports that is bad news having a certain herbicide loaded into the truck and it entered the billeted cane or the preparation index I think and that is bad news, it’s not good and I would discourage every farmer not to do that if it’s being done intentionally. It can be found because they know where the truck came from and that truck obviously we’ll know which field it came from so as far as I know they can easily trace it back and I believe if it’s done intentionally, it has to be investigated and if it’s something intentional then I believe BSI has the right to penalize.”

Mai says that this can affect the quantity of cane milled and the efficiency of sugar extraction.