Screen_Shot_2014-09-24_at_7.52.51_PMAs mentioned in the IMF report, real GDP growth plummeted to 0.7 percent in 2013, from 4 percent in 2012, mainly due to continued declines in oil production and weak agricultural output, especially sugarcane and citrus. Now, we all know that sugar cane is the backbone of the economy here in the north and with two of the industries main stakeholders, BSI/ASR and BSCFA failing to reach an arrangement on the new commercial agreement that stipulates the purchase and sale of sugar there is not telling what future the industry holds or even if the 2014/2105 crop season will be able to commence on the proposed date which is the end of November. BSI though is being optimistic and hopes that with the presentation of the newly proposed commercial agreement, the miller and the producer can finally sign on to the agreement. As mentioned at the top of the newscast the new agreement proposed by BSI, includes some of the elements found in the previous agreement and some news ones. Among the new elements is a new method for the harvest and delivery of cane.

Belizario Carballo- Financial Director BSI/ASR

“Harvest and delivery of cane that area we feel that there is a lot of concern being expressed by farmer’s in terms of being frustrated in not being able to deliver their cane in dealing with issues at the field levels that prevent them from delivering their cane in time and so we feel that we should set up a collective group, between the Association and ourselves to work at ensuring to put in place a system that will ensure that every farmer big or small has an opportunity to deliver all of their cane in their own name and in time that is best for cane harvest in terms of maturity testing, that there be good maturity testing, that it is not just as the crop starts opens it is about delivering but there be a greater organization, some greater use of information that is available, SIRDI is now up and running and they does maturity testing before the crop starts, SIRDI is developing an information management system(SIMIS) and we want to top into these resources and to be able to make decision in the interest of the industry that would be based on more and better information.”

The new agreement also holds a section for the improvement of the quality payment system.

Belizario Carballo- Financial Director BSI/ASR

“We want to ensure that there is more consistency in the testing and that it is being done more objectively, more consistently because payments are being made on these results and so last crop we saw a breakdown in the testing program after week 17 the quality testing program was interrupted and because of the weather and other factors there was a big interruption and so we want to ensure that we address those particular issues to ensure that we can more rely on testing control that we put in place. Right now the sampling is done by the SCPC personnel or essentially the BSCFA participate in that sampling and the testing is done at BSI lab, so the farmers do the testing or the sampling and BSI does the testing and so that review can be simplifies and sort of more streamlined to ensure that we look at that system and the proposal is that we continue doing the testing and coordinate with the sampling along with the BSCFA to ensure that there is, but the important thing that we organize it together and we plan it together and that we ensure that there is consistency in testing.”

If the agreement is accepted by the BSCFA there will also be a change in the structure for payment of cane. The first payment will be disbursed on the first week of delivery when close to 80% of cane price is paid. Five weeks after the crop ends the 2nd payment will be disbursed and instead of the 2nd Monday in the month of November, the third payment will be paid out on the 1st Monday of the month.

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