Will the 2013/2014 crop season commence on January 16th? That’s a question that is currently in limbo because the Belize Sugar Industries Limited is yet to state whether or not they will accept the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association’s proposals stipulated in an interim agreement presented yesterday.
While the lawyers of both parties met today to further delve on the agreement and it was expected that by this afternoon BSI would announce if they will sign on to the document up to news time there is no indication if the miller accepted the terms and conditions of the BSCFA in order to commence crop. Late this evening when we spoke to Chairman of the BSCFA, Committee of Management Alfredo Ortega, he told us that BSI compromised to have an answer either today or tomorrow.
Today marks one month and 16 days that the 2013/2014 crop season has been stalled due to a lack of compromise between the miller and the producer when it comes to the revenue sharing of the bagasse, a byproduct of the sugar cane which is used by BELGOGEN to produce energy which is sold to the national grid. While both the BSCFA and BSI play hard ball, millions of dollars are being lost and it will certainly have a trickle effect sooner rather than later hence it is very important that a compromise is reached.
As mentioned last night, the Interim Agreement contains seven points including the payment for bagasse and that the memorandum of understanding in the past agreement when it comes to revenue sharing remains. If BSI agrees to the interim agreement, the BSCFA will then meet with its membership on Sunday for their blessing to move forward. If all goes well, the crop is expected to commence on January 16th that is depending on the conditions of the sugar roads which a currently in a deplorable state.
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