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Nov 10, 2000

Citrus production up, prices down

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This season’s citrus harvest is in full swing and farmers from Cayo to Toledo are busy both reaping and planting. But while the industry is coming off one record year of production and headed toward another, the gloom of low world prices hangs over the fields like and early morning fog. Projected prices for the new crop are four dollars per box for oranges compared to five-o-three last year, and three-ninety-eight for grapefruit, a drop of fifteen cents from the previous season. While farmers as well as the processing company, Del Oro, will be squeezed on the revenue side, they will be receiving some official assistance until the situation improves. Government has approved an exemption of duty on diesel fuel for citrus farmers and will also provide a subvention for the year of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the Citrus Growers Association. The CGA is also being invited to apply for a development concession, which would allow members to acquire duty free equipment and supplies. At the same time the minister responsible for citrus, Henry Canton, has pledged his support in renegotiating the terms of a ten million dollar loan from the European Investment Bank to allow farmers greater leeway in the use they can make of the funds. The Citrus Growers Association held its annual general meeting last Saturday. Rupert Smith, Frank Redmond and Richard Polack were returned as directors, while William Bowman was newly elected. Citrus production for the 2000 crop is expected to reach seven point four million boxes.

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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