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Dec 15, 2015

Rice Growers in Toledo Paid Substantially Less than Northern Producers

Coming out of the ongoing controversy is the fact that grain growers in the south are being paid considerably less per pound of rice than their colleagues in the Orange Walk District.  That point was made earlier today by activist Wil Maheia.  He contends that farmers in Toledo are being paid thirty cents per pound, while producers in Blue Creek and Shipyard are receiving upwards of eighty cents to the pound.  According to Garcia, the mechanized process being employed by members of the Mennonite community should drive down the price they are presently receiving.  Conversely, the Agro-productive Sector argues that those prices are set by the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation and that inputs by smaller and larger growers differ significantly, resulting in the existing payment regime.

 

Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia, Regional Trade Specialist

“On one hand BMDC is saying, or the public sector is saying I want to protect our industry but we got a call in earlier today where Wil Maheia clearly stated that the BMDC still owes the rice producers in the south who are getting paid thirty cents a pound for rice.  Yet we are protecting the large producers.  But I want to say this because from my data that generated a profit of one point four million, you know, so why are we still owing the small producers.  Added to that is how do we produce rice or pay our small farmers thirty cents, yet we are trying to protect the large farmers, saying that we are producing at eighty-five cents and that they are not price gouging.  That means something does not gel there where they are using economies of scale, they are using the latest technology, they use less labor, it’s less labor intensive, everything is mechanized, they get all the fiscal incentives from government and yet they are saying they’re not competitive.”

 

Stanley Rempel

Stanley Rempel, C.E.O., Circle R Products

“The numbers that you were hearing earlier were, in my opinion, very inaccurate.  Yes, the farmers down south are getting paid less for their paddy but it’s not at our control.  That’s what BMDC, that’s what their prices are and that’s what they are paying them.  It is a lower quality rice, it is not a Grade One rice which the general public demands.  So the price yes, the price quality depends on or price is based on quality.”

 

Henry Canton

Dr. Henry Canton, Chairman, Belize Agro-productive Sector Group

“It’s like comparing apples and oranges because you have a system, it’s like growing oranges let’s say.  We have a small farmer that’s producing five acres and there’s a farmer that’s producing a thousand acres, you can’t compare your competitiveness although they will be paid the same price.  That’s the challenge that the farmer does.  A lot of times that smaller farmer will do his own labor inputs where a larger farmer has to have a larger employment base, has to have a high investment in equipment et cetera, et cetera.  So I don’t think it’s being put realistically the way it should be put.  I think it’s being used to twist the minds of people.”

 

The shipment of Guyanese rice is expected to arrive in Belize on Thursday.

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1 Response for “Rice Growers in Toledo Paid Substantially Less than Northern Producers”

  1. Peter says:

    Stanley rempel you guys rice are not quality as you say.
    pieces of stone and rock and steel i find in your rice are not quality. when i buy rice from the south i don;t find any of those dangerous particle in theirs that i find in your rice. So, which one is quality.?

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