Sugar Cane Crop Season Delayed Commercial Agreement Dispute

Sugar Cane Crop Season Delayed Commercial Agreement Dispute

In related news, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) met with Prime Minister John Briceno today to continue to urge GOB’s intervention in signing a commercial agreement with BSI/ASR. The BSCFA, the largest association, has yet to strike a deal with the mill and was unable to agree on a start date for the crop season, leading to a delay. The mill expressed dissatisfaction with the decision last week, but the association says it was in their best interest to start on December 28. PM Briceno weighed in on the decision today and says the delay was necessary for both parties. 

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Sometimes the best laid plans are set aside because of God. Even if we wanted to open the crop next week or the following week the truth of the matter is that because of the excessive rains we can’t open. The roads are bad, fields are under water, many people don’t know this but the sugar stalks right now are full of water so when you take it to mill you’ll be getting more water than sugar. That is why when it is really dry you get the best amount of sugar per tons of cane when it’s very dry like towards the end of February, March, April when it’s not raining. So right now it’s not a good time and we don’t want to destroy our fields. So it’s an academic discussion right now we just have to wait until the rain stops, they start to get dry, we start to fix some of the roads so we could be able to take out  some of the cane.”

The association refuses to sign an agreement until the Commission of Inquiry into modernizing the country’s sugar industry is in place. PM Briceno says that the government has asked former Attorney General Magali Marin Young to assist with establishing the commission to get the ball rolling.  

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “The idea now is that we’ve asked senior counsel to prepare a letter to the Cabinet subcommittee along with a presentation clearly pointing out where they believe that BSI has not been living to the conditions for the payment of fair trade. We’re going to send it over to Mac, we hope to get it by Friday and early next week the expectation is that then the Cabinet subcommittee is going to have a meeting with Mac and his officials to discuss it. I am hoping that by addressing that issue that maybe we can be able to get a two year, three year commercial agreement to allow us as a government to give time to have the commission of inquiry. The commission of inquiry is going to take us probably at least a year but once we get that report then we need to be able to study it and to see what can be applicable, how is it that we can improve the yields in our cane fields, how we can reduce the cost of delivery to the BSI, to the factory, how BSI could improve its efficiencies and also the delivery of the sugar from BSI onto the ship. We need to take a comprehensive look at what’s going on and how we can improve efficiencies and at the end of the day that everybody can make more money.”

The PM also noted that he does not agree that the delay will further exacerbate the scarcity.

Related post

Heroic Mother and Neighbors Thwart Attempted Child Abduction in Belize City

Heroic Mother and Neighbors Thwart Attempted Child Abduction in…

Police would not confirm if they have levied charges against the man who allegedly attempted to abduct a 5-year-old child in…
Fake Lands Officer Scams Dozens Out of $250,000

Fake Lands Officer Scams Dozens Out of $250,000

Tonight there are reports reaching our newsroom of a case where one woman was able to dupe dozens of persons posing…
Attorney Oscar Selgado Begs for Mercy After Being Found Guilty of Abetment to Commit Murder

Attorney Oscar Selgado Begs for Mercy After Being Found…

Attorney Oscar Selgado was back in court today where he reportedly apologized to Marilyn Barnes for the ordeal she has had…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *