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Agriculture Minister says no elections in 9 years and expelled farmers are at the core of internal feud in Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association

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Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2021. 12:46 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The fight between chairman of the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association (CSCPA) Vladimir Puck and several ex-colleagues on Monday added another black eye to the lengthy list for the sugar industry.

Minister of Agriculture Jose Mai spoke to us by telephone explaining that it all stems back to the situation that exists within the CSCPA – they have not had an election in nine years and some farmers feel the executive is not properly managing their affairs.

Most recently, according to the Minister, a set of farmers were apparently expelled from the CSCPA because of disagreements with the executive (the Association has previously written by press release that they did not renew their memberships and were not formally expelled).

Nonetheless, the group of cañeros is not presently able to join any other association and the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) met and voted that they would remain on the CSPCA delivery list which is maintained by Belize Sugar Industries Limited/American Sugar Refining (BSI/ASR). BSI/ASR for its part says the men were listed as independent of any association and when informed of the situation the list was corrected.

However, it appeared that at the start of crop on Monday, some of the affected members when they arrived were told they were not listed for delivery and thereafter the CSCPA chairman, Puck, arrived and a confrontation/fight ensued. There is no indication if any criminal charges will be filed.

The matter is now in the hands of the Sugar Cane Production Committee (SCPC), the arm of the SICB that directly manages harvesting and delivery of cane.

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