Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Agriculture, Featured » Second Payment for Sugar Cane is Low; B.S.C.F.A. Says the Industry is in Crisis
Jul 24, 2018

Second Payment for Sugar Cane is Low; B.S.C.F.A. Says the Industry is in Crisis

The final price for sugar is in and the estimated value for the 2017-2018 crop is not sweet news for farmers who will be paid an estimated forty-five dollars and forty-seven cents per ton. That’s the figure released today by American Sugar Refinery/Belize Sugar Industry to the three cane farmers’ associations in the north. For the previous crop, farmers received approximately fifty-three dollars per ton of sugar cane taken to the mills. The new estimated price will now see farmers get a second payment of between three dollars and ninety cents and six dollars and thirty-four cents per ton when compared to last year when they received over eleven dollars. Back in April of this year, B.S.I. reps reported that the estimated average cane price for the 2018 crop is forty-one dollars and sixty-nine cents per ton of cane. While the estimation is slightly higher, the final price is not sitting well with farmers, who say that the value for the crop threatens their livelihoods and could force them to lock up shop and exit the industry. Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association Branch Chair, Alfredo Ortega, explains.

 

On the Phone: Alfredo Ortega, Branch Chair, B.S.C.F.A., Orange Walk

On the Phone: Alfredo Ortega

“Very low compared to last year. Last year at this time we were in the vicinity of fifty-three dollars per ton of cane; farmers received about eleven to twelve dollars in their second payment. But this time around where farmers are getting only three dollars and ninety cents the lowest, that is very detrimental to many farmers. Even the six dollars is very detrimental because as we speak right now fertilizers and herbicides are going up so it will be very difficult for farmers to purchase and do the necessary husbandry on the field. So that will be a very negative impact on cane farmers right now with regards to the prices.”

 

Duane Moody

“Now sir, was this expected, because from what I understand the price for sugar in the international markets had fallen by fifty percent?”

 

On the Phone: Alfredo Ortega
“Yes we understand that, but one of the problems that is very hard for us to chew in to the situation is that we always know that B.S.I. signs contracts between B.S.I. and Tate and Lyle before. But now that ASR is the owner of both—B.S.I. and Tate and Lyle—they are the ones that play now with the prices of sugar because well Tate and Lyle is our biggest buyer of sugar from the E.U. and as you know, Tate and Lyle is owned now by ASR SOT hey only change sugar from one hand to the other. When the prices were high and we questioned them about it, they said that we should not look into that because we have a set price and when prices go down, we would still be receiving our best prices. But as soon as changes and the new regime has changed, many things have changed.”

Be Sociable, Share!


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*