Another vocal participant in the House of Representatives siding with farmers was member for Orange Walk South, Abelardo Mai. Mai defended the mother umbrella organization of the farmers, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. His points delved from production growth, social and economic programs to fertilizing fields in a timely manner. And whilst the Sugar Industry is a pivotal productive sector for the North, Mai’s argument was that no foreign entity should come in and bully Belizeans from what is truly theirs, citing that farmers should be the real owners of the assets in this country.
Honourable Jose Abelardo Mai – Member for OW South
“A slanderous remark for merely political and malicious intentions like the Association has spent millions of Fair Trade money and has nothing to show for it, it is a complete fabrication, it is completely deceitful and nothing close to the truth, the record speaks for itself Mr Speaker, through the Associations Fair Trade premiums productivity grew from 980,000 tons of sugar cane in 2008 to 1.4 million tons of sugar cane we have today the mill is practically choking with so much cane that we have Mr speaker, thanks to who, certainly Mr Speaker, not to the government, certainly not to the EU pain stressing, embarrassing sluggish delay of the accompanying measure for sugar, Mr Speaker thanks to the Belize Cane Farmers Association and the Fair Trade premiums, thanks to the BSCFA the cane farmers can now control what is considered now the endemic frog hopper outbreak. And the list goes on and includes the ability of cane farmers to be able to fertilize their fields on a timely basis and therefore increase their productivity. Dividing and conquering is a proven destructive strategy that colonizers, economic predators an even Governments employ in their agenda of slavery, manipulation and subjugation Mr. Speaker, especially governments who are not for and nor the people, governments who are corrupt employ these strategies.”
Meanwhile, the ruling UDP took a verbal thumping from most members of the opposition, the finger pointing raged on from name calling to chastising. In his thirty minute speech, the PM came back striking blow for blow. And when accused that his Government has leagued up to take sides for BSI/ASR, PM Barrow quickly rejected that notion citing that it is merely “Ill wind that blows no good” and placed blame on the BSCFA’s Javier Keme and Alfredo Ortega for the untimely fall through of the association.
Honourable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister Of Belize
“Passage of the resolution to authorize the signing of the agreement that had been reached was unanimous. What the public needs to know is that Ortega and Keme who were part and parcel from the start of the effort to derail the progress that had been made, they were nowhere to be seen yesterday. When those across the aisle suggest that this government was playing politics with the BSCFA, this is a flagrant naked attempt to stand the truth on its head. Now let me talk about the Chairman of the COM and his supposedly collaboration with the UDP let me tell you that Casino has never run for political office. It is Ortega who offered himself in a PUP Convention to try and run against the DPM in the next general elections so you tell me who is playing politics, who ten was playing politics with the BSCFA.”
Barrow said that after assessments are made, at latest today, on the conditions of the Sugar Roads, he will pump in more money to ensure that the roads are trafficable and available to farmers.
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