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Jun 1, 2023

Government of Belize Approves $1 Million in Subsidies to B.S.C.F.A. for Purchase of Fertilizers

In May, Cabinet approved one million dollars in subsidies to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association for the purchase of Fertilizers. In its announcement, Cabinet noted that B.S.C.F.A. has not benefited from premiums derived from Fairtrade for the past two years. The release noted that the subsidies were approved to improve crop yields. In our interview with Minister Mai earlier this week, he explained that the industry is faced with the probability that sugarcane production will shrink by thirty percent this year due to inconsistent weather patterns and the spiraling cost of agro-inputs. Both the CSCPA and the PSCPA are now calling on the government to also provide them with a million dollars in subsidies for the purchase of fertilizers. We will tell you more about that shortly. But, first here is what Minister Mai had to say on the approved funds.


Jose Abelardo Mai

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture

“No decision to assist any origination with a million dollars is done in five minutes. That decision to give out a million dollars, If it is to the cane farmers, the stevedores, that decision is not taken easily. It is discussed in the Cabinet for a very long period of a time and Cabinet makes the decision. The rational for BSCFA is because they produce almost sixty percent of sugarcane and they have been completely deprived of almost five million dollars worth of Fairtrade funds which would have gone a great percentage to fertilizers. So, at this time we have to stop the downward spiraling in productivity, halt it and as of next year try to bring up that production. The easiest thing to lose is your productivity. The most difficult thing is to do is to bring it back to where it was before. So, we are concerned about the farmers and the family, the foreign exchange earning and the mill.”

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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