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Jan 16, 2018

Farmers Punished with High Prices Despite Innovative Uses of Fuels

John Dyck

You probably grumbled a bit recently when it was announced that prices for kerosene, premium and diesel fuel and butane went up. But while most urban Belizeans get butane for their houses on average every month or so and gas up when they can, it’s a different story for farmers in the North. There, butane is a regular source of fuel both for the irrigation system and for fueling the fire to dry corn stalks. Some even use it for their vehicles, while others use diesel or even a mix of kerosene and oil. But as Orange Walk South’s Jose Mai and farmer John Dyck assert, that source is becoming increasingly less reliable and the government ought to consider a break from the relentless gaining of revenue from imported fuel.

 

Jose Mai

Jose Mai, Area Rep., Orange Walk South

“The farmers struggle daily to find ways and means to be more efficient in producing; they find ways and means to reduce their costs. They had begun with gasoline; that is more expensive than diesel; diesel is far more economic in terms of utilizing it. They then stsarted using diesel vehicles; the government increased the price of diesel almost the same as regular gasoline. They started using now the fuel-flex vehicles by using butane; they started using butane, the prices have gone up from three dollars a gallon to four dollars and sixty cents per gallon.  What do they do now?”

 

John Dyck, Farmer, San Carlos

“Just like the cane farmers got a break on their fuel; and I think it should be overall the farmers, they should all get that fuel break that would help a lot, because they are paying so much taxes on fuel. That would be one thing – all the neighboring surrounding countries; the fuel prices are a lot cheaper in Mexico and Guatemala than what we have here, so it’s hard to compete with the countries around us.”

 

Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has previously asserted that fuel prices are expected to enter a period of stability but it all depends on what happens in the world market. 

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