On Friday during the House of Representatives Honorable John Briceno, Orange Walk Central Area Representative, stood up and demanded that the San Estevan Road, which is presently in deplorable condition, be fixed as promised by the Dean Barrow Administration. With pictures in hand, Briceno showed members of Parliament; women and children drenched in muddy and dirty rainwater when their vehicles and bus they were traveling in ran into invisible road potholes. But presently the pitiable condition of the San Estevan Road is not the only thing affecting northenos. As you might already know, the relationship between the two major stakeholders of the Sugar Industry is being affected by the current stagnant negations on the Bagasse issue. Cane Farmers want BSI to pay them ten dollars per ton of Baggase used by BELGOGEN to produce energy which is sold to the national grid and BSI Is saying no way no how. With tensions brewing, Orange Walk South Area Representative Jose Abelardo Mai asked Government for their intervention in the matter in order for both parties to reach an acceptable agreement in terms of revenue sharing.
Honorable Jose Abelardo Mai- Orange Walk South Area Representative
“On the 25th of September, the cane farmer’s flank by Mr. Jovanny Diaz Naranjos and with Mr David Gibson met with the BSI team along with the gentleman Mr. Ricardo Lima who was heading BSI group and yes it was discussed but I do not believe that the farmers got any way had been a discussion at that meeting Mr. Lima, the ASR representative ask the cane farmers to write BSI a letter asking or another date when that issue can be discussed only to find out later that BSI called to tell them you we can’t meet on that day, they have been turning the cane famer around and around and around avoiding the discussion of a very important I believe now considered by-product. The farmers are going through very difficult times at this moment not only the cane farmers but most cane farmers, the cost of fertilizer has spiral from 38 to 68, fuel from 9 to 11, tires by 30%, spare parts by 15% and if that is not enough we now have frog hopper being endemic in Belize, which means that we have to fight this yearly adding another $5 per ton to the cost of sugar cane. There is a business agreement between BSI and the cane farmers; Belize sugar Cane Farmers Association and Belize Industries Limited agree that the sharing of revenue arising from the sale of any by-product not covered in their present agreement with the subject to future discussions and the sharing of revenue will be based on the results of these discussions, it is very simple, it is not even called bagasse any more it is called biofuel, that is what is called, all we are asking is that government takes time to intervene to facilitate such negociation.”
We’ll have more on the House Sitting later on in the newscast.