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Jan 10, 2014

Farmers to meet to discuss counterproposal to bagasse agreement

Cane-farmers will meet on Sunday to discuss the way forward, and tonight that road is uncertain. On Wednesday the BSCFA submitted an interim agreement to the B.S.I.  The first point on that agreement was a commitment by B.S.I. to pay for bagasse. B.S.I. took that agreement to make some modifications, and today it was sent back to the BSCFA. But with all that, there was still no commitment to pay for bagasse, which remains the sticking point. The BSCFA was not satisfied with those modifications, so they made their own and sent it back to B.S.I.  And that is where the matter lies at this point. So with no legally binding commitment in hand, the BSCFA must now go back to its farmers with empty hands. That is, unless something radical and extremely surprising happens between now and Sunday morning.


Alfredo Ortega, Vice-Chairman, Committee of Management, B.S.C.F.A.

Alfredo Ortega

“We’ll be presenting that to the farmers because as you know time is going by and the situation with our farmers…many of them owe the banks. Almost ninety-nine point five percent of our farmers owe the banks and the financial situation with them that have their kids in schools and for trying to maintain food for their families. So those are things that we have to be looking forward and that is why we will be calling this meeting on Sunday regarding if we receive or not. Basically what we are asking for is the same position; that we want something in writing that will demonstrate that both of us commit ourselves in having a signature form B.S.I. that there will be a payment for bagasse. And also that we ourselves will have crop without interruption and also maintaining within…as you know we are working with our pass agreement that we have. But we want something solid because of the situation that we are going on and we have agreed upon certain things of the new agreement that we have not signed as yet. So those are the things we are incorporating within the interim agreement that we want to sign with B.S.I.”


Mike Rudon

“Mr. Ortega, based on what has happened before and B.S.I.’s clear reluctance to B.S.C.F.A. anything in writing, there is every likelihood that by the end of today, you all will not get an undertaking by B.S.I. that there will be a commitment in writing. What then would be the message in that case that you will take to farmers—because I know that you will go to get their mandate on Sunday—what will be the recommendation at that point made by the B.S.C.F.A.?”


Alfredo Ortega

“Well we will go to the farmers based on what transpires today. When we had the meeting with them on Wednesday, they verbally said that yes they are committed; that they will negotiate a payment for bagasse with us, but it is verbally. So we will be taking what transpires during the meeting and then we will be giving some proposals to the farmers. If we are to start without having a signature of B.S.I., then we will be taking some proposals to the farmers, which I cannot say at this point in time, until we present it to the farmers on Sunday.”


B.S.I. has stated that it is hoping for the crop season to start by next Thursday. But with the condition of the sugar roads, we are told that is extremely unlikely, even if farmers fold on Sunday.

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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2 Responses for “Farmers to meet to discuss counterproposal to bagasse agreement”

  1. bgroovy says:

    You sell you cane ..Bsi buy it fa you at an agreed price..Bsi tru some money and ingenuity come with a plan to mek some money with bagasse which by the way you taught was garbage..what am I missing. ..

  2. bzeanrebel says:

    What u r missing u idiot is that the agreed price of cane is a controlled price since it is a vital industry. If you want to play the free market game then it has to be free for both sides……..remove the control on the price of cane and let the farmers set their own price as they see fit and if BSI wants or can afford it, they buy the cane from the farmers and they are then free to do whatever they want with it and the farmers have no further claim. Then we will see who will quickly come begging for a negotiated price.

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