The citrus industry is still reeling from a protracted dispute between the Citrus Growers Association and its subsidiary, the Citrus Products of Belize. Tonight there is word that another industry is in trouble, thatís the banana industry. Combined the citrus and banana industries are the life blood of the south providing most of the employment in that part of the country. Last year banana productionís was a little over four million boxes and it is projected that this figure would peak to five million this year. But earlier today, receivers for the Belize Bank closed in one of the major growers, Soren Sorenson, owner of several farms, for defaulting on multi-million dollar loans to the Bank. The grower reportedly has additional outstanding loans of a combined two million dollars with the Social Security Board and the Banana Growers Association. As far as we know, a new management team from Fyfees has been put in charge to run the farms due to their professional and technical expertise. Bank executives have also had discussions with two other major players in the industry who say they have confidence that Fyfees will increase production and efficiency at the farms. We also note that this afternoon at his quarterly press conference, the Prime Minister was brimming with confidence on this sector. Itís a developing situation, one that can have significant ramifications in the industry.

Channel 5