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Jan 12, 2015

…Says U.D.P. Fell Asleep At the Wheel

Francis Fonseca

According to Fonseca, the signs of today’s sugar cane debacle were foretold when the government refused to allow cane farmers to purchase controlling shares in B.S.I.  He claims that a P.U.P. government, from that point, would have sided with the farmers. That was not done, and according to the P.U.P. leader, neither has there been any engagement by government in this process, and in this very critical industry.


Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

“This has been building up over time. The farmers for a very long time have been calling for the SICB to get engaged in this impasse that exists between them and ASR/B.S.I.  So the government has not been engaged, the Prime Minister has not been engaged, the Minister of Agriculture who is the Deputy Prime Minister has not been engaged and was not engaged. Now that again is something we would have done differently. We would have been engaged at every step of this process from the very beginning. In terms of where we are now the government could have done and should be doing a lot more on behalf of the cane farmers. I think that if Mr. Barrow and his government had in fact come out just as clearly as he has now come out for ASR…if he had come out very clearly and strongly on behalf of the cane farmers he would have then forced B.S.I./ASR to say listen, we can’t get into a fight with both the government and cane farmers…we need to sit down and find a solution whether it means resigning the existing agreement and carry that forward – the existing interim agreement – and carry that forward into the New Year. So I think that is what was required – leadership that stood very clearly and firmly on the side of the cane farmers, sending a very clear message to ASR/B.S.I. that this is what we want, this is what we support, this we believe is the only way forward. When B.S.I./ASR recognized that there was a weak fence there, that government was not in fact supporting the cane farmers, they obviously have exploited that and used that to their benefit.”

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2 Responses for “…Says U.D.P. Fell Asleep At the Wheel”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    Back to slavery in the north as ASR/BSI solidify their monopoly to buy, sell, grow, exchange, trade, and manufacture sugar on their own terms and conditions within their own horizontal and vertical company; and ignoring the local farmers completely. All this has been accomplished with the corrupt and niggardly help of the UDP-Barrow smoke and mirror economic policies or non policies and the Belizean taxpayers footing the bill by underwriting the fiscal and tax holidays. Good luck and good bye to stupid.

  2. Teddy Steinway says:

    Tough place to be for caneros – Juggled around by the politicians.
    This time they cooked their own goose. The agreement says that caneros must
    practice good farming techniques to stay competitive for 7 years.
    Fairtrade would have helped the caneros stay competitive. The caneros robbed the Fairtrade.
    Fairtrade will cut off the funding. Many small farm Caneros will not stay in business. They shot themselves in the foot too many times.

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