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Jan 16, 2018

Sugar Hangover?

While vegetables and staples may pay the bills, sugar cane is still king in the North. The sugar industry, which came off one of its best years in memory in terms of cane milled and tons produced, is now starting to move into direct consumption sugar production and sales. And the early figures from Tower Hill show even more modest improvements in terms of total cane ground and sugar milled. But on the heels of the lack of protection from the European Union through the now-discontinued quota, there are weather-related concerns for farmers like Orange Walk South Area Rep Jose Mai.

 

Jose Mai

Jose Mai, Area Rep., Orange Walk South

“As I speak today, one month after the crop began, it is clear that we are going to have a shortage this year, a drop in productivity, because the drought [from] last year is affecting us now. So we are going to have a shortage of foreign exchange coming to the country as a result of the drought. Now the government needs to be vigilant in looking at these things and to make adjustments to their policies. We cannot continue to be taxing farmers so much for fuel; it is impossible. Nobody can survive like that; no farmer anywhere in this country can survive with that rate of taxes in fuel.”

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