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Dec 31, 2014

Cane Farmer Seeks Support for NO Signing

Ofelia Montejo

And so, as we end off the year, that is where we are in the sugar industry. Throughout the latter months of the year we’ve brought you every aspect of the tangled story from ASR/B.S.I., the B.S.C.F.A. and the government. And we end our coverage of this issue for 2014 with an interview done with a cane-farmer who is against the signing. Ofelia Montejo believes that signing would be the worst possible move for the farmers, and she told News Five that they don’t fully understand all the ramifications of the agreement.

 

Ofelia Montejo, Cane Farmer, Corozal

“Some of our farmers do not understand English, and the lawyer that was there reads about fifteen minutes English paper and our farmers don’t understand. I’ve been begging at all the meetings that they must bring that in Spanish for them, and it has never been done, and they come and deliver the paper to you like one hour before the meeting. You can read one page but you can’t read the two. For the farmers that voted we are asking them now to join our cause. We have not said that we don’t want a crop. All the farmers want a crop. But then the clause that they gave us there does not benefit us. And that is why now that Ms. Matura has opened everyone’s eyes, I am glad that she entered the train.  I have thirty-five acres. I have two hundred and fifty tons. And at this time only the harvesting will cost me thirty dollars to remove it from where it is to the factory…only the harvesting…not the planting, the preparing, the seeds, the fertilizer, nothing…just the harvesting to cut and pick up is thirty dollars per ton. And at no point are we saying that the government is not helping because the government gives us two dollars and fifty cents for every ton towards our gas. But the fight is not with the government, the fight is with B.S.I. and ASR because they are trying to underpay us for our hard work in the fields. Sometimes four o’clock in the morning I am up already, because I must make lunch for my husband to take. He comes back eleven o’clock and he is diabetic, you can see that he is tired. But he must go and work because nobody will put money in our pockets. So why should we sit there idle and let B.S.I. reap in the best of ours?”

 

We’ll have coverage of what is sure to be a heated Sunday debate in Monday’s newscast.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Cane Farmer Seeks Support for NO Signing”

  1. farmer 2 says:

    Ms Matura is on the wrong side of the group of farmers… she is on the side of men that has failed on their ventures… she should be with the managing committee… the former chairman has the fault …. i could never saw him speaking on news it was Ortega the former chair… soooooo

  2. VeroniqCarnahan says:

    There is certainly a lot to find out about this issue. I love all of the points you have made.

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