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May 18, 2015

SICB Suspends Restructuring of Quotas, Sugar Crisis Averted

A potential crisis in the sugar industry was narrowly averted when late this evening the Sugar Industry Control Board voted to suspend the decision to restructure quotas. That decision, made by the Sugar Cane Production Committee, SCPC, would have meant that quotas for all three associations delivering cane would have been cut. That spelt loss and disaster for farmers who have only a few weeks to deliver their cane before the rains start, ending the season. Mike Rudon was in Orange Walk and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

This afternoon farmers gathered outside the headquarters of the Sugar Industry Control Board in Orange Walk. They are angry because they just learned that the Sugar Cane Production Committee has decided to revise quotas, and that means a decrease in what they can deliver to the factory.

 

Eiden Romero, Libertad Branch

Eiden Romero

“We are worried because we owe bank and if you know we have a big problem that they are cutting this quota. Put yourself as me we make a loan on the bank and if we have two hundred tons or let’s put it at a minimal of a hundred tons and you make about let’s say two thousand dollars and they cut your quota? How are you gonna pay that to the bank? And we have the production in our fields and I said to ASR that they shouldn’t do something like that because we really need that so that they can bring back that quota and so that we can pay our bills.”

 

Edna Diaz

Edna Diaz, Progresso Branch

“We just took out that four loads of cane which is approximately forty tons and it is not even a quarter of our cane field and if our reaping group doesn’t want to take out any more than what is assigned to me as a quota then I will stay with the remainder of the cane. So then how can we pay our bill at the bank?”

 

From what we gathered today, quotas from all three associations delivering to the mill are being cut, with the BSCFA losing the most. Interesting, these farmers say that the quota for ASR controlled fields has been increased.

 

Geronimo Navarro, Caledonia Branch

Geronimo Navarro

“Nobody supposed to put their dirty hand in my plate of food and worst in the plate of the food of my children. So I got commitments with the bank as every can farmer does. They assist me in financing my project which is cultivating and renovating cane fields that they gave me the money with the confidence that I could do it but all of a sudden, a rude awakening they awaken this old man under his bed and say that your quota is cut into a certain amount and who will pay the money that I owe the bank. They don’t consider that, ASR is not a phase, they are a monster like the Colonialism.”

 

At around five thirty this evening, Chairman of the SICB Gabriel Martinez emerged with good news. He says that when it came to revising quotas, they got involved because of the impact to cane farmers.

 

Gabriel Martinez

Gabriel Martinez, Chairman, SICB

“The decision taken is that the ACPC is suspended until the board gets a complete finding of a productivity survey being taken by SIRDI which is promised to be taken by this week Friday. When we get the report a week after, which is the twenty-ninth of May in the morning the board will sit again to look at the final report.”

 

He says the move came about because it was felt that the production estimate to start the crop was flawed.

 

Gabriel Martinez

“The members of the ACPC at that time thought that there were some flaws and so asked SIRDI to take over and to carry on certain aspects that were missing from the initial production estimate. That then happened because SIRDI has the resource and man power to carry on the survey. That report came in last week and the members of the ACPC sitting on that meeting voted to accept, to adopt and to make the readjustments.”

 

Martinez says the readjustment of quotas is a burning issue and something that has to be done urgently, perhaps before the start of the new sugar cane crop. Mike Rudon reporting for News Five.

 

Martinez says the readjustment of quotas is a burning issue and something that has to be done urgently, perhaps before the start of the new sugar cane crop.

 

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1 Response for “SICB Suspends Restructuring of Quotas, Sugar Crisis Averted”

  1. jake says:

    ASR and BSI are the producers they should NOT have licence and cane fields!!!!!!
    LET THE PEOPLE OF BELIZE LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!

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