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Nov 27, 2013

PM agrees that caneros are entitled to a share of profits from the use of bagasse

Dean Barrow

The impasse between cane farmers and B.S.I. is still holding strong…and latest developments up to Tuesday evening were that Prime Minister Dean Barrow had been asked by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association to intervene. Whether as a result of that letter or in acknowledgement of the critical nature of the situation, Cabinet met and discussed the issue on Tuesday. And today Prime Minister Barrow came out in support of the cañeros. The PM agrees that they are entitled to a share of profits from the use of bagasse, since bagasse is a by-product of sugar cane. But G.O.B. support firmly established, the PM says there is absolutely no justification for any threat of strike or delay of the crop season.

 

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

“We are convinced, and as a lawyer I am entirely satisfied that there is every basis for our conviction…we are convinced that the farmers have a case. We looked at the provision in the memorandum of understanding that talks about the sharing of revenue arising from the sale of any by-product will be subject to future discussions and the sharing of revenue will be based on the result of those discussions. In our view that clearly contemplates some form of compensation to farmers for the bagasse. The argument that the bagasse is waste and is not a by-product in our minds cannot stand. When, as has now happened, the sugar industry is able to make use of what formerly was treated purely as waste to generate fuel, and bagasse can be used for other things I have seen. When that happens you cannot say that the bagasse is not a by-product. To me it doesn’t, it doesn’t hold water for that argument to be made. We part ways with the farmers in terms of the manner in which it seems they are determined to make their point and to press their case. We cannot consider it helpful for the industry, for the economy of the north and for the country for there to be this talk about strike and non-commencement of the crop. That will hurt all of us, but it will hurt most the very farmers that are being encouraged not to deliver.”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be meeting with the BSCFA on Monday, and it is hoped that the meeting will end in a resolution which will not threaten the crop season.

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1 Response for “PM agrees that caneros are entitled to a share of profits from the use of bagasse”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    When it was pointed out to Belizeans to revolt against granting a monopoly to ASR and BSI to buy, sell, process( mill ) sugar cane, most didn’t want to understand the ramifications. Now, this problem wouldn’t exist since the caneros could sell their harvest to the sugar factories in Chetumal. In addition, we the taxpayers are financing this monopoly with the help of our corrupt , incompetent, and unqualified government officials and civil servants. From a world-wide legal viewpoint, the caneros have a binding contract to sell their cane to ASR/BSI, and once ASR/BSI pay and are owners of this product, they can do with it whatever they want such as, resell, give it away, exclude others from it, control it, pledge it or dispose of it in any way it wants. Despite what Barrow’s Caribbean legal mind says, an international , unbiased court will find for ASR/BSI. So mote it be!!!!

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