By Alexis R. Milan, Staff Reporter
Prime Minister Dean Barrow met on Friday with representatives from the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and the farmers have agreed to be flexible with their position moving forward in order to bring BSI/ASR back to negotiations.
Barrow commended the BSCFA on their new position and said it provides the basis on which new negotiations can take place with BSI. Barrow explained that the BSCFA’s core position still stands as it relates to the ownership of the cane and the payment formula for bagasse, but said the Association has made modifications to their position.
Barrow said the flexibility in position demonstrated extremely mature leadership on the part of the BSCFA. He added that he would be getting in touch with BSI/ASR to inform them of the BSCFA’s willingness to negotiate and set a date for negotiations to resume so that the industry can progress and start its crop.
BSCFA Chairman Ezequiel Cansino said the farmers have agreed to start the crop with an interim agreement. Cansino said while he could not elaborate on the details of their position they have assured the Prime Minister that they are willing to be flexible and is grateful for government’s assistance in bringing BSI/ASR back to the table.
Cansino also said the association felt this was the right move, especially since this year there is an over-production of cane and the farmers cannot afford to lose any of that production.