With the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association and the United Cane Farmers Association now officially registered, the Sugar Industry Control Board will have its hands full as it will need to work with three associations instead of one as has been the case for more than 50 years.


Today when we spoke with Chairman of the Sugar Industry Control Board, Gabriel Martinez, he stated clearly that the same rules that apply to the BSCFA will apply to CSPA and UCFA.


Screen_Shot_2015-01-13_at_8.18.51_PMGabriel Martinez- Chairman, SICB


"Yesterday we had a group of farmers who came to the office to petition to be considered as reaping groups and thereafter sign the agreement with BSI in order to start a crop. The rules of the industry will apply to everyone and there is no preference for anyone in order to keep the industry stable and sustainable and I guess tht is the wish of everyone.”

While many are of the opinion that the formation of these new associations is good for the industry, there are those who beg to differ. The concern is how the Sugar Cane Production Committee will deal with the harvesting and delivery of the cane to the factory. This says Martinez, is something the SCPC will need to work on as soon as the Prime Minister amends the Sugar Act and makes it official that there is freedom of association.


Gabriel Martinez- Chairman, SICB


“In order to prepare the itinerary to deliver cane will definitely be a huge task for the SPPC.”

Carmelita Perez- Reporting


“The BSCFA is a set association and has a system set in place when it comes to the harvesting and delivery of cane, with these two new associations coming into the picture do you think the harvesting and delivery mechanism of the sugar cane to the mill will be affected somehow?”

 

Gabriel Martinez- Chairman, SICB


“The sugar act has to be looked at if there is a critical mass and register to go and sign away and apart from the BSCFA, I guess at that point when they sign we have to come to the table and practically sit down and along with the SCPC see how we will accommodate everyone as the idea of the SICB is to have everyone be included in the industry.”


The Prime Minister is expected to amend the Sugar Act which was ruled unconstitutional back in 2010 on Monday during a House Meeting. Once the amendment is made this would give way for the two new associations to proceed legally and it is the hope of Martinez that at this point the delivery to the factory starts simultaneously.


Gabriel Martinez- Chairman, SICB


“I can only say that it would be in the best interest if we can start together. I don't think it will be appropriate for any one entity to start ahead of the other. I cannot speak for BSI, but I guess they would not be contemplating the issue on that particular line, but I am just speculating.”


Reporter


“In terms of actual time line would you know how much time it would be required for the new associations to reach the point where they are set to deliver cane to BSI?”


Gabriel Martinez- Chairman, SICB


“well again it all depends on am, let me say this what the individual farmers and test groups are doing at this time is visiting the office of the SICB and requesting that they want to start a crop and register as a test group. When they will go to BSI and sign, I don't know if they will do it today or tomorrow or weekend - I don't know. We are here at the office, carefully accepting, helping them to carry the procedures as has been done whenever we start crop and basically that is our function.”


Reporter


"In terms of time lines, do you actually foresee the members of the BSCFA actually going ahead and delivering before these new associations or is it that dialogue has to happen between everyone or among everyone?"


Gabriel Martinez- Chairman, SICB


"That's an interesting question. I can only say that it would be in the best interest if we can start together. I don't think it will be appropriate for any one entity to start ahead of the other. I cannot speak for BSI, but I guess they would not be contemplating the issue on that particular line, but I am just speculating."


Carmelita Perez- Reporting


“But before they start delivering cane there are certain regulations that have to be set in place that the SICB needs to see that are there for them to be able to deliver the cane to the factory.”


Gabriel Martinez- Chairman, SICB


“We need to sit down with everybody and organize particularly the itinerary for delivery of cane and I must say that will be a tedious task.”


Carmelita Perez- Reporting


“And the crop can’t start if that is not set in place?”


Gabriel Martinez- Chairman, SICB


“Well to avoid chaos we must be properly in line and have a fixed timetable as to how it will operate.”


And, there you have it, while cane farmers have agreed to sign the agreement with BSI/ASR, the date for the commencement of the crop is yet to be set.  According to Martinez, once the agreement is signed by all parties he expects the SICB, after consultation with all associations and the miller, will announce the date.

Share this post

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comment.

Headline News