All stakeholders in the sugar industry are no doubt under intense pressure to get factors in place for a successful crop season. For things to work, all parties – the B.S.C.F.A., ASR/B.S.I., the new associations, the SICB and the SCPC must be on the same page. And currently they are – but what about things outside their control? Like the condition of the sugar roads, for example. No matter how precise the planning, if the farmers cannot get cane from their fields to the factory, none of it matters. That’s why government announced in the House on Monday that it has allocated an immediate two million dollars for the renovation of sugar roads in the north.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“The one million dollars each for Orange Walk and Corozal which has gone across today from the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Works for the repair of sugar roads can be added to depending on what the assessment – which will be done starting perhaps this afternoon, at the latest tomorrow by the Ministry in conjunction with the Deputy Prime Minister for Orange Walk and Minister Hugo Patt for Corozal – depending on what that assessment shows more money can and would be given by this government to assist the farmers.”
John Briceño, Area Representative, Orange Walk Central
“The Prime Minister is saying that they are going to invest immediately two million dollars more for sugar roads, because if we can’t fix the sugar roads, we can’t deliver cane. So Deputy Prime Minister please make sure that we start to fix the roads starting today, and do it well. Because they like to use those UDP contractors, you know. They have one from Orange Walk Central…I noh wah mention name…they go and they do a really terrible job, and the same Ministry of Works have to fix it and the man still collect for the job. And noh like the one weh do the Phillip Goldson Highway through Orange Walk weh done deh broke up? And we’re spending how much Mr. Prime Minister? Five million dollars? The place done deh broke up. Please mek we get good contractors to do a good job.”
We were unable to confirm today whether works have actually started on those sugar roads, though we are told that many of them are in deplorable condition.