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Prime Minister, Agriculture Minister try to end impasse to sugar crop

Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2021. 2:13 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The blockade of cane trucks at the Tower Hill factory continues, but latest reports say meetings continue between representatives of Belize Sugar Industries Limited/American Sugar Refining (BSI/ASR), the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), and the Government, represented by Prime Minister John Briceño and Minister of Agriculture Jose Abelardo Mai.

Minister Mai told BBN a short while ago that meetings would continue this afternoon as they await a response from the Florida-based owners of ASR.

The BSCFA, since late Tuesday, have refused to deliver cane unless they can be assured that an interim agreement, which has been agreed in principle, in place pending further negotiation of the commercial agreement lasts throughout the crop, instead of only up to April 30, so as not to jeopardize the ability of its members to deliver cane.

The mill is unable to receive cane from any Association pending the end of the blockade, and Police are present ensuring peace and order are maintained.

Commissioner Chester Williams has said that farmers have agreed not to block the Philip Goldson Highway running by the factory or other main entrances and exits of Orange Walk Town and not to cause disruption.

Meanwhile, BSCFA director Alfredo Ortega insists that while they will not court danger, they will hold the line until they get what they ask for.

We continue to follow this developing story.


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