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Jun 3, 2014

Update on dispute between Green Tropics and Valley of Peace farmers

The Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that the destruction of vegetation in Valley of Peace by Green Tropics back in mid-March was as the result of the use of the herbicide, Roundup. The samples of vegetables including cabbage, tomato and pepper were sent abroad for testing by the ministry. The Valley of Peace Farmers Association and its members clamored for compensation following the over a million dollar loss of revenue sustained from the damaged plants.  But the farmers and Green Tropics remained at odds because Green Tropics says that a portion of the land the farmers harvested for twenty-five years belongs to the Spanish company. Agriculture C.E.O., Jose Alpuche, gave the media an update on the dispute.

 

Jose Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Agriculture

“We had facilitated dialogue after the results came in. I know the parties are continuing negotiations. We have been told by both parties that they have some parameters—broad parameters on which they agree. They are now working on the proverbial details but we believe that both parties are on the way to negotiating an amicable solution.”

 

Reporter

Jose Alpuche

“Part of the issue, we’ve been informed is that while it is indeed this pesticide that damaged the crops, those farmers were supposedly squatting on Green Tropics land. As a member of government have you been such informed?”

 

Jose Alpuche

“I think it was established that that is the fact but as I said, they are working on a solution among themselves which is absolutely good that they will be able to hopefully coexist into the future. So we are giving them this opportunity for them to negotiate amongst themselves and as I said, both parties have said that they have broad parameters of agreement and working on some of the details.”

 

Reporter

“Sir so can we take away from that that there is fault on both sides and as a result they are trying to resolve this in a manner that benefits both parties?”

 

Jose Alpuche

“On the issue of fault, as I said, we have to keep in mind what if the matter ends in court and the ministry being…would, may very well have to provide an expert testimony. I really don’t want to talk about who is at fault. I want to focus on the fact that we believe that they are well on the way to a negotiated solution.”

 

As it relates to the investment of Green Tropics into a Sugar Refinery in that area, Alpuche says that the base work has been completed and the factory parts are now being brought in to establish the mill. 

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