Now the question is, if the manufacturer, in this case BSI/ASR packs up and leaves, what next? While the talk is good cane farmers want to see action. So, today Fonseca was asked how he would deal with the sugar crisis, if he would be in the shoes of the Prime Minister. From all accounts he would not be in bed with BSI/ASR.
Honorable Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition
“We know that the farmers had a very credible plan and all they needed was the support of the government and that was not forthcoming so it depend on how far you want to go back because if we had a PUP government at that time we would have been there for the cane farmers, we would have made sure that every opportunity was provided by the cane farmers for them to own BSI, I really think that the government has not really been engaged in this crisis that has been building over time it has taken over the headlines in the recent months but this has been building up over time, the farmers for a very long time has been calling for the SICB to get engaged in this impasse that exist between them and AS/BSI so the government has not been engaged, the Prime Minister has not been engaged, the minister of Agriculture who is the Deputy Prime Minister has not been engage and was not engage so that again is something that we would have done differently we would have been engage at every step of this process from the very beginning in terms of where we are now I think the government could have done and should be doing a lot more on behalf of the cane farmers and I think Mr. Barrow and his government had in fact come out and just as clearly as he has come out for ASR if he had come out very Clearly and strongly on behalf of the cane farmers he would have then forced BSI/ASR listen we can’t get into a fight between both the government and the cane farmers we need to sit down and find a solution whether it means resigning the existing agreement and carry that forward onto the new year so I think that was what was required that leadership that stood very firmly and very clearly on the side of the cane farmers sending a very clear message to BSI/ASR this is what we want and this is what we support this is what we believe the way moving forward.”
According to Fonseca, they would have also ensured that the Sugar Industry Control Board carry out its mandate and set a date for the crop to commence after consulting with both sides.
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