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Jan 12, 2015

Will the B.S.C.F.A. Survive the Crisis?

Jose Abelardo Mai

Even as the Opposition has its say, and expresses full solidarity with and support for the cane farmers of Belize, the fact is that at this point cane farmers have run out of time, backative and options. They certainly cannot wait for February twenty-third and a possible Mandamus order. So they will sign…which means that there is the possibility of a crop within the next two weeks, a few days later than its 2014 start. Thus the impasse would be ended with the B.S.C.F.A. intact, at least for now. 

 

Jose Abelardo Mai, Cane Farmer

“I do not believe that the B.S.C.F.A. will splinter for a number of reasons – the main reason being that it is the only existing organization that has the infrastructure in place for efficient harvesting. The easiest thing to do is to format the changes and get it running efficiently so in order to avoid the members from going over to associations that will be defunct anyway, the farmers in their wisdom have decided to sign the agreement and to stay with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, of course under forced measure. It’s with a very heavy heart that you go and sign your name. As a matter of fact I almost signed yesterday, but after reflection I said no, I will sign after I have made my statement very clear. I am unhappy, and I share this feeling with many farmers. If we have to sign, it is with a heavy heart that we have to sign.  I don’t see the signing process being completed within five days, and I don’t see the crop season starting within ten days…maybe ten days given that the weather improves.”

 

A House Meeting has been called for Monday, January nineteenth, at which it is believed government will propose amendments to the Sugar Industry Act. Of course, farmers also hope that at that House Meeting, government will play “roll it” with Petrocaribe monies to replace the Fairtrade monies disbursed to farmers recently.

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