In yesterday’s press conference held by Leader of the opposition, Honorable Francis Fonseca, he spoke on many issues of national importance. Chief among them was the impasse between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and BSI/ASR on the pending finalizations of payment for bagasse, if any. Fonseca says that while they stand firmly alongside the farmers, they are demanding from the Government to intervene to have the matter resolved as the uncertainty is not good for Belize.
Honorable Francis Fonseca– PUP Leader
“This is a very, very serious matter, it is not a political matter, it is a national issue, which requires leadership and it requires immediate intervention, we cannot allow one single more day to pass without solving this issue. It is going to affect the entire country of Belize; it is going to affect the entire economy of this country so we can’t allow it to fester any longer. The uncertainty certainly is not good for Belize. A meeting should have taken place already, we should have already have had a meeting in the Prime Minister’s office in Belmopan, bringing these parties to the table. So that we could move ahead with opening of the sugar cane the grinding season. And we certainly, I want to make it very clear, I want to place on the record very strongly that we reject in the strongest possible terms, the arrogance of the Prime Minster and then to so veil treat that he made to the cane farmers of this country. By saying that he was not going to fix the sugar roads, if they did not come to the table; well it is the government’s duty, it is their obligation to have those roads ready for the opening of the cane season. That is their obligation, it should have been done already, to now try to hold that treat over the heads of our hard working cañeros is absolutely disgraceful. We believe that there is no question that bagasse is a component of cane which now has value whether or not it had a value in the past is meaningless the reality now it that it does have a value today and just as we have other components of the cane that have a value we now have a third component of the cane that has a value. So from here on we have to think about cane as having sugar, molasses and bagasse each componenet having a value.”
Of note is that during his oppress conference held on Wednesday the Prime Minister expressed that while he sees that the bagasse has a value and farmers should be compensated for it, farmers should discontinue delaying the crop season to start.
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