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So farmers received the good news, the decision taken by the SCPC last week is suspended. The suspension follows the meeting with representatives of the Sugar Industry Control Board, BSI, SIRDI and the three associations. Chair of the SICB, Gabriel Martinez says the meeting was held since the best interest of the sugar industry is a priority and under the circumstances the SCPC’s initial decision was suspended.

Screen_Shot_2015-05-18_at_8.24.55_PMGarbiel Martinez – Chair, SICB

“It’s suspended until the Board gets a complete finding of the Productivity Survey being taken by SIRDI which have been promised to be finished by this week Friday and a week after this the Board will sit again to review again the final report.”

Martinez says they will eventually decide whether the production estimates will be reduced for this crop. We have heard the opposing and supporting arguments to the decision, but we asked Martinez once more to clarify the rationale behind the adjustments to sugar productions estimates.

Dalila Ical – Reporter

“Theoretically how was that supposed to assist in improving the Industry toward the end of this crop because farmers say well ok, they are being affected severely but what I understand the intention was really to improve and to get more deliveries to the mill, theoretically how does this supposed to work given the first decision?”

Gabriel Martinez – Chair, SICB

“Well, I guess that was the correct message to have gone across but you know that in that process other messages are thrown out for public consumption and all of us are privy to our opinions, we respect everybody’s opinions, this is the cane farming community and will all respect and the intention of the ACPC and the surveys is to gradually iron out people who don’t have the production, there are a lot of people who have make sacrifices, there a lot of cane farmers who have borrowed money from the banks and they have invested and they need time to put their production to the factory and that was and continues to be the essence behind a production estimate to give those real farmers, I would say real farmers the opportunity to get their product to the factory.”

Dalila Ical – Reporter

“What is your definition of a real farmer?”

Gabriel Martinez – Chair, SICB

“Well, those who have the cane, at this time various surveys that have come out that we still have people who don’t have the production at the cost of those who have the production.”

Farmers however rejected the decision which has now been retracted, at least until further notice since the SICB will be taking a look at the final report of the survey conducted by SIRDI.

Gabriel Martinez – Chair, SICB

“The final survey, because the final survey is not yet in and it has to be completed and after that completion we are going to look at it again as the final product.”

Martinez says they will be providing all associations with a copy of the final report. According to Martinez, representatives of the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers and the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers who had voted in favor of the decision last week retracted their vote in today’s meeting.

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