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Nov 13, 2015

Sugar Quota of Concern to Farmers, Ministry of Agriculture Monitoring Situation

Jose Alpuche

There is also another issue which is of concern to farmers, and it has to do with their quotas. Prior to the end of the last crop, the Sugar Industry Control Board had explored cutting quotas because they claimed that a survey conducted by Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute revealed that farmers did not have the amounts they claimed in their fields. Well there is a new survey, and it shows that there is actually one point seven million tons of sugar-cane to be harvested, while the mill only has a capacity of around one point three million tons in a crop season. Again, Alpuche says that it is a situation that they are monitoring closely.

 

Jose Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Agriculture

“We have quite a few variables with the sugar crop, with the estimate. The drought has affected and impacted output. There was a relatively high, what we thought was a bit high in terms of the crop estimate. That matter was discussed in a Sugar Cane Production Committee meeting earlier this week. Together they’re working on a revised estimate and the SCPC should be meeting on Monday again. I believe what will end up happening, or there seems to be agreement by all parties including government, that quotas will be issued based on a one point three million ton crop this year, and we will attempt to introduce a sixty day review. As you know this thing is not an exact science. If the weather is perfect we will do a review fairly early, but if the rains continue that can impact the start of crop. So what we’re hoping to get full agreement on is that after the first sixty days of crop, we will do a comprehensive review so that we don’t end up where we ended up early this year, where closer to the crop we needed to revise the estimates and it was not possible.”

 

Reporter

“Could you confirm for us? We’re getting an initial figure of one point seven million tons in the field?”

 

Jose Alpuche

“That is the figure that is being revised. We believe one point seven was a bit high. In fact everybody believes it was a bit high, and they are revising that and the SCPC should have a new figure, collectively they will have a new figure on Monday.”

 

Cane farmers are asking for at least forty dollars as first payment at the start of the crop, but that is still to be determined. 

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