PM holds out on Sugar Roads until he knows that there will definitely be a crop
To avoid real, dire repercussions, the 2013-2014 crop season will need to get underway by December fifteenth. The primary obstacle is of course the impasse between the BSCFA and B.S.I., but even if the relationship was all happiness and smiles, farmers would still be stuck. That’s because many of the sugar roads in the north are in a deplorable condition, a consequence of long-time neglect and incessant rains. Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced a rollout of significant cash for immediate remedial works. But he’s holding out on the sugar roads until he knows definitively that there will be a crop. Today the P.M. maintained that position.
Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
“I’ve said and I repeated it…I can’t start working until I can know whether there is a crop…whether there’s going to be a crop.”
“Sir the Opposition has criticized that position by the government, stating that it is your responsibility to fix the roads notwithstanding what’s happening.”
“Oh it’s my responsibility to fix all the roads in the country and I’ve indicated that it is a matter of prioritization. There are people in Toledo who can’t get out of their villages. There’s only a certain amount of money that can be disbursed immediately. There’s only a certain amount of work that can be done immediately. This would be a priority but if there is not going to be a crop then you can understand why I will assign the priority elsewhere.”
Alfredo Ortega, Vice Chairman, Committee of Management, BSCFA
“I think that it’s not only the cane-farmers that live in the north. It’s not only we that use the road – we have other farmers in other areas. We have the papaya industry, we have vegetable farmers, the Mennonite and students that use the road. So I think that it is very important regardless of what happens with cane-farmers and BSI that the road should be fixed.”
All be told, the 2013-2014 Sugar Cane Season is still on hold and there is no indication in the horizon as to when the sugar mills at Tower Mill will crank up.