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Nov 12, 2014

Francis Fonseca on B.S.I./B.S.C.F.A. Sugar Crisis

While industrial action is contemplated in the north, the People’s United Party is tonight castigating the Barrow administration for dragging its feet on one of the major industries and the lifeblood of the north.  According to Party Leader Francis Fonseca, the United Democratic Party government has been slow to intercede in the ongoing dispute.  Fonseca says that Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega and Minister of State Hugo Patt have both been mute on the subject, a national issue which threatens the export industry, as well as the livelihoods of thousands of sugar cane farmers. Fonseca says the P.U.P. is in the corner of the B.S.C.F.A.


Francis Fonseca, Party Leader, P.U.P.

Francis Fonseca

“We are very, very concerned about the status of the sugar industry, it is a very critical industry to our national economy. We certainly do not believe that the position that has been taken by B.S.I./ASR in their latest public pronouncements at their press conference serves the best interest of the country.  We certainly do not support any effort to undermine or bypass the role of the B.S.C.F.A., that does not serve the interest of the industry at all.  We have had a long, fairly successful or history in the sugar industry of a tripartite relationship, government, B.S.I., now B.S.I./ASR and B.S.C.F.A. representing the cane farmers and that has obviously had problems from time to time but largely, by and large that has worked and served the interest of the industry.  So that has to be protected, that tripartite approach to the development of the industry and I think the problem today is that the Government of Belize who is an integral part of that partnership is missing in action.  The farmers themselves have been calling for the Sugar Industry Control Board to get engaged in this process.  They have been missing in action.  The Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Vega has been missing in action.  His deputy Hugo Patt whom I believe sits on the Sugar Industry Control Board is also missing in action, has also been missing in action.  I think that is really the crux of the problem as it stands today.  We need a government that is engaged.  We need a government that will lead on this issue, that will bring all the parties to the table and work endlessly everyday to try to solve this very, very serious problem.  Our national economy is at stake, the livelihoods of thousands of cane farmers and their families is at stake.  So this is a very, very serious issue and we have a government that is not engaged and a government that really only acts when there is some political objective at stake.  This is a serious national issue that requires the full engagement of the government and that is lacking today.”

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.

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1 Response for “Francis Fonseca on B.S.I./B.S.C.F.A. Sugar Crisis”

  1. melinda says:

    if we nationalize, who will buy our excess 100,000 tons of sugar? the other thing, famers are paid 85% of the cane price every thursday during crop for cane delivered the previous week. the BSCFA has become arrogant with the fairtrade funds of some $47 million,.if you sell a sawmill your logwood, can you claim the sawdust if the owner does something with it.

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