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Dec 15, 2022

Still No Compromises in Sugar Impasse As Time Draws Near for New Crop

The new sugar crop is four days away and today there’s still no concrete outcome coming out of the mediations between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and A.S.R/B.S.I. The Minister of Agriculture told reporters today that he was concerned about what will come out of the last session because at stake are the livelihoods of five thousand cane farmers and their families. B.S.I. has indicated that it is prepared to start receiving cane on December nineteenth, but the Minister said that the worst case scenario would be going back to the status quo.


Jose Abelardo Mai

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security & Enterprise

“B.S.I. has announced its preparedness for the nineteenth, however, the date to opening the crop is set by the sugar board. The sugar board’s term expired one day ago. This morning I appointed a new board. That board is scheduled to meet tomorrow evening and that date will be set. By law, it is the sugar board that sets the date for the commencement of the crop. B.S.I. could have announced its readiness to start on the nineteenth but the board makes the announcement, by law.   A turbine just came into the country from Mexico two days ago. They’re installing it today and we’re expecting them to be up and running in ten days. It takes ten days for them to install that turbine. So if they begin on the nineteenth, they won’t begin with that turbine. It will take them until the twenty-second, twenty-third, twenty-fourth to get the turbine working. And during Christmas time the mill does not operate. So they are banking on that too.”

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