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Sugar Industry stalkholders express concerns to SICB

Love News has obtained a letter dated February 23 and sent to the Chairman of the Sugar Industry Control Board, (SICB) Gabriel Martinez. The copy of the letter we received is signed by Chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Salvador Martin, Chairman of the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association, Elvis Canul, Chairman of the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association, Tiburcio Acosta and Cane Farmers Relations Manager, Olivia Avilez. In the letter, concerns are raised regarding the SICB’s financial status. It says quote, “The stakeholders of the Sugar Industry, including the three associations and BSI, are very concerned about the present financial situation of the SICB, in particular that of the SCPC who is responsible for the delivery and quality of the Crop.” End of quote. According to the letter, financial disbursements have been made to the SICB from the Sugar Industry Development Fund, (SIDF) prior to October 2018 which is when it is due. The heads of the three sugar associations point out that a budget of the SIDF has not been presented nor approved by the board. They are calling for an urgent meeting with the SICB to discuss this and other sugar industry related matters. The letter also informs Martinez that the three sugar associations have written to BSI requesting an advance from the SIDF to cover the costs of the operations of the SCPC. They did this because they are quote, “concerned that the lack of payment to these personnel will jeopardize the smooth delivery of cane and can escalate unnecessarily.” End of quote.