When it comes to the Sugar Industry, much was said in the House today. While both sides defend their position on the Sugar sag as the debate on the amendment of the sugar act took place, one member of the opposition that stood up for the farmers at the same time offering recommendations for the betterment of the Sugar Industry was member for Orange Walk Central Honourable John Briceno.
Honourable John Briceno- Orange Walk Central Area Representative
“I think that the government needs to pass legislation to allow the cane farmers to be represented on a sugar marketing committee, why do I say that, for so long, the cane farmers have been saying that when they deliver their cane and BSI process that cane into sugar they take it to their own and give it to their parent company which was Tate & Lyle and now ASR to sale the sugar and we don’t know if it is the best price, we don’t know if that is the price or they could get a better price or a lower price, we don’t know that but a to avoid the suspicion that have been growing up in the industry, I think it is important that we have legislation where a cane farmer represents the cane farmer on that board so that they could be assure that whatever price BSI/ASR five the farmer for their sugar it is the best price that they can get, so that is my first recommendation Mr Speaker. Secondly, it is high time the government of Belize owns about 2% of BSI and by virtue of that 2% they also have a member or two members on the board of directors of BSI, I think it is high time that the government should decide; well at one time we were suggesting that that 2% should be passed on to the BSCFA but we can’t do that anymore because we have more than one Association, but at the very least Mr, Speaker what the government can do is to allow a true cane farmer to sit on that board so that could see what are those decision that are made that are going to impact the cane farmers be it positively or negatively. Three, with the farmers having more than 1.4 million tons of cane on the ground to supply to BSI, I think need to put a limit on the amount of cane that BSI/ASR can grow that is very important, we need to allow our Belizean caneros to plant more cane, because if they plant more cane they make more money and that money stays in Belize it does not leave Belize so it is important that we do that.”
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