The assistance rendered to farmers and cattle producer’s ranges somewhere around eight hundred thousand dollars. Another big sector of the agriculture industry that is being gravely affected by the bad weather is sugar cane. In this area alone, farmers in the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts are being affected by flooded fields and the heavy rains have also further damaged sugar roads making it difficult for farmers to access their crop. Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Gaspar Vega says that government is also rendering the assistance needed in helping to alleviate the negative impact the rains are having in this particular industry by allocating at least 2.5 million dollars in the rehabilitation of sugar roads.

 

Screen_Shot_2014-01-16_at_8.56.31_PMHonorable Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister of Belize


“Again we’re going have to wait and see how far that will go because at the beginning the Prime Minister had allocated 2 million dollars for them but we know that it was not enough and we have increase just of lately just like a past few days a 2.5 million dollars.”

 

Dalila Ical -  Reporter

 

“Are the farmers also going to be benefiting from the fuel assistance that they get as well?”

 

Honorable Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister of Belize

 

“The cane farmers will be getting the fuel subsidy like last year and also the subsidy for the licenses on their trucks, all the equipment that they use for the sugar cane for the length of the crop, we will be waiving all licenses fees for the cane farmers.”

 

The work on the roads is yet to start. Tomorrow government officials and other stakeholders in the sugar industry will be meeting in Orange Walk to assess priority roads. The discussion for the long awaited work follows the breakthrough between BSI and BSCFA on the revenue sharing agreement on bagasse that had placed an impasse on the start of the sugar crop. Vega expressed that this is a relief and said he believed they will move ahead pointing out that there is the need to do a lot of confidence building between both stakeholders. Vega adds that government continues to hold the position of arbitrator and ensure there is a space for smooth discussion between stakeholders.

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