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Screen_Shot_2013-11-21_at_8.35.35_PMThe sugar cane industry of Belize has endured many challenges in the past and has been a solid socio-economic engine for northern Belize and the country. Historically, and even today, we continue to depend heavily on the European Union market access for the survival and resiliency of our sugar industry. But with the on-going dispute between BSI and BSCFA on the revenue profit sharing of sales generated by the Bio Fuel better known as the bagasse, the industry is at risk.

While this issue has been making headlines for quite some time now, it is anyone’s guess if and when the parties involved will find common ground. What is of concern to others is the economic downfall that can potentially harm the industry and Belize on a whole. Some fear that if the 2013/2014 crop season is delayed, the effects would be disastrous.

David Acosta – Retired principal.

“En el nivel económico, el aspecto económico sería algo negativo pero yo estoy 100% apoyando a los caneros en el sentido que si van a conseguir algo, van hacer más participes en la economía que les da su producción, entonces es necesario que BSI les pague para el bagazo porque es un bi-product, tienen un de acuerdo desde el 2002 a donde una clausula lo menciona entonces allí los caneros tienen una base y yo lo que quisiera decirle a los caneos y al pueblo de Belice a Corozal y a Orange Walk es de que para todo bien que va venir es necesario un sacrificio y si los caneros están peleando para un beneficio para el pueblo del norte entonces tiene que haber sacrificio.”

With the Sugar Industry being one of the back bones of the Belizean economy and the main revenue earner for the north a dispute between Belize Sugar Industries Limited and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association only spells but one word, trouble.

David Acosta – Retired principal.

“El distrito de Corozal y Orange Walk dependen de la azúcar porque mete bastante divisa, no solo para Corozal y Orange Walk sino para el país entero entonces se sentiría en las bolsas de los caneros y el pueblo de Corozal, negativamente ese sería el impacto a la economía directa a Corozal y Orange Walk. De darse un parro como lo están mencionando entonces naturalmente habría unos escases de azúcar, el precio de azúcar subiría, sería un poquito más carro pienso yo pero vuelvo a decir, el pueblo tiene que entender que para cualquier bien o bien estar que estamos buscando para los caneros tiene que haber este sacrificio.”

And in a larger scale, the absence of a sugar industry means a decrease in foreign exchange earnings which translate to a reduction in our ability to pay for import. For many of us, finding common ground and resolving the issue is of utmost importance as the livelihoods and future of thousands are at stake.

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