Cane Prices are Up but BSCFA Says It’s Not Enough
During an exclusive interview with Love News, the Country Manager of the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, Mac McLachlan, explained that this sugar cane price increase is due to the company’s thirty million U.S. dollar investment in the production of Direct Consumption sugar and moving cargo operations to the Big Creek Port down south. However, Chairman of the Committee of Management of the Belize Cane Farmers’ Association, Fred Ortega, says taking into consideration their individual expenses and investments, the farmers are simply breaking even.
Fred Ortega, Committee of Management Chairman, BSCFA: “We believe that it could have been much better because when we speak to our neighbors around us like if we speak to our neighbors in Obregon they got over a hundred Belize dollars per ton of cane and we’re only in seventy dollars so if you make the math it’s thirty dollars difference than us and if we see our neighbors in Guatemala it’s about eighty dollars so it’s ten to fifteen dollars above that we got. Nevertheless it’s a little bit better than last year but when we compare what transpired last year in regards to the climate this year it was very hard for the farmers, for the group leaders to bring out that cane and take it out to the mill because of the weather conditions it was very rough and also if you can recall when crop started we had diesel in the vicinity of ten dollars per gallon but at the middle of the crop it went up way up to almost thirteen dollars and fifty cents. So if you make the math and when we compare the price that we got we’re almost breaking even with the price that is right now at seventy dollars.”