Sugar Cane Producers from the North Request Sugar Price Increase
Members of the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association (CSCPA) and the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association (PSCPA) wrote to Prime Minister, John Briceño, expressing an interest to increase the prices of bagged Brown and Plantation White sugar that are currently sold on the Belize market. The letter goes on to point out that the last adjustment was in 2015 and 2001 which only affected plantation white and was less than what farmers had expected. The farmers propose an increase in the price of brown sugar from 39 cents per pound to 75 cents per pound and plantation white to be increased from 75 cents per pound to one dollar per pound. The associations highlight the ongoing challenges they face such as a rise in input products, fuel, and other expenses to be the driving factor behind this request. They feel that by doing so the industry will be able to stay afloat and support the industry as stakeholders seek to increase sustainability. Today we asked Prime Minister John Briceno for his views on the associations’ request.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “This is something that we in Cabinet would have to take a look at because as we know the cost of living continues to go up and by raising the price of sugar it can have a direct impact on most everything and we are trying to do our darndest best to keep down the cost of living. The argument could be made that yes it is deserving but also we can make an argument that the tax payers are helping by the fuel subsidy that we give to be able to keep down the cost of their operations so whilst they are giving up something the tax payers of Belize are also giving something. Now mind you I’m also a cane farmer so it would be in my interest if it were to go up but that’s not what it’s all about we have to look at the bigger picture and that is what steps can we take to try to hold down the cost of living on all our citizens.”