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Dec 21, 2021

Area Rep Weighs in on Sugar Woes

Kevin Bernard

The delayed start of the 2021 sugar crop remains a hot-button issue for stakeholders across the industry.  The miller is at odds with cane farmers over various matters, including prices, and the government now finds itself caught in the middle of a standoff between the Belize Sugar Industries Ltd. and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association.  From a political standpoint, Orange Walk East Area Representative Kevin Bernard empathizes with his constituents, some of whom are lifelong cañeros.  The former mayor turned Minister of Youth and Sports says that B.S.I. must do everything to make certain that cane farmers are duly compensated. At the same time, he wants to encourage both sides to work together for the benefit of Northern Belize.


Kevin Bernard, Area Representative, OW East

“I tend to differ in terms of B.S.I. saying that.  I think that it’s not the first, I very much recall the Anastasio Gutierrez time when there were a lot of things that happened.  But I think I want to put on record that I think that all players must come to the table, the farmers, B.S.I./A.S.R.  I will speak, I am not a farmer, but I have people that are farmers in my constituency and they believe, as well, that they have been taken advantage of too, by the super giants in the sugar industry.  Now I am not attacking the sugar industry but I think also too that they must also understand that whatever agreement is going to be signed within cane farmers’ various associations and B.S.I./A.S.R., it must have benefits for both.  The farmers invest a lot of money and time and energy in making sure that crop, that cane, can get to the mill.  B.S.I. must do its part in ensuring that they are compensated in the right manner.  I think farmers feel that some of the things that are being proposed are not to their benefit and I am sure we have great people that are around that table that can solve this thing amicably.  I just want to encourage them, let us work together for the benefit of the industry, for the benefit of the north and for the benefit of this economy.”

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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