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Dec 16, 2011

GOB gave the green light, but Toledo Rice Growers have not been paid

Dean Barrow

In the south, over a thousand five hundred rice growers are similarly irate because of a delay in final payment for their crop which was due on Thursday.  According to Dennis Usher, chairman of the Toledo Rice, Beans & Corn Production Association, the Ministry of Agriculture and the BMDC have failed to live up to their end of a bargain to pay growers in full within three installments.  Usher told News Five yesterday that a meager fifty thousand dollars was deposited into the association’s account on Thursday afternoon to satisfy a few intolerant growers.  Prime Minister Barrow, on the other hand, said that the green light had already been given for an outstanding balance of three hundred thousand dollars to be paid.

Dean Barrow

“The Belize Marketing Development Corporation got in touch with the government; I think three hundred thousand dollars was outstanding.  I gave the word for that to be sent down and so the farmers, if they weren’t paid yesterday, they’ll certainly be paid today.  So which problem? Problem, which problem? No problem.”

Isani Cayetano

“Because Dennis Usher was saying that only fifty thousand dollars was deposited as of yesterday which should have been [part of] the final payment.”

Dean Barrow

“I really, I don’t know as I said whether by the time I gave the order to transfer whatever funds were necessary, I was told it was three hundred thousand from government, whether that did get disbursed yesterday or today if it didn’t get disbursed yesterday it will be disbursed today so there is not going to be a problem.”

We’ll have more on today’s House meeting coming up in the newscast.

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