All the Directors of the Committee of Management of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association met with Belizario Carballo, the Chief Financial Officer for Belize Sugar Industries and Mac McLachlan of the ASR Group. The meeting finished at five o’clock and it was about the new sugar price estimates. This year, that figure decreased so much so that it has cane farmers, especially small time farmers, worried. We spoke to the Chairman of the Committee of Management for the Association, Leonardo Cano who gave us more details. .
“On Friday we received the first sugar price estimates and it was $41.56 and 85% of that is what they will give us as our first payment. That translates to about $35.33. This is a decrease of about $7 when compared to last year. BSI and ASR are saying that the price is low because of the international markets and this is how they came up with those figures. Now this will hurt the small cane farmers because it will be difficult to work with such a low payment. We are trying to see how we can negotiate with BSI on how to get a price especially for farmers who have their fields in Corozal. They have to transport their product to the factory in Orange Walk and it will cripple them. Most of the farmers are disappointed and worried because the price is really low and most of us owe banks and with this price it will be a problem to harvest our cane. We just concluded a meeting with Mr. Belizario and Mr. McLachalan and we are asking them to give us a better price in the vicinity of about $38 as first payment especially for farmers in the Corozal district. They say they cannot go higher because they are using a formula that highly depends on the international market.”
Cano will hold a branch meeting in Louisville Village in the Corozal District.