Whoever set the cane field on fire - the reason for it was last week's announcement that cane quotas would be re-assigned. While some branches saw their quota cut shortly, BSI's quota was increased - which immediately increased tensions in the sugar belt. Well, the Sugar Cane Production Committee met yesterday and set aside the quota cuts for the time being. Chairman Gabriel Martinez said they will wait for a complete survey:..

Gabriel Martinez - Chair, SICB
"It's suspended until the Board gets a complete finding of the Productivity Survey being taken by SIRDI, which have been promised to be finished by this week Friday and a week after this, the Board will sit again to review again the final report."

But, while it is deferred until the end of the month - the fact is the cane harvest is shortened and an effort needs to be made to bring in the best, richest cane as efficiently as possible - which means weeding out cane from growers who don't have very much quality cane left. Martinez explained:

Gabriel Martinez - Chair, SICB
"At this time various surveys that have come out that we still have people who don't have the production at the cost of those who have the production."

"Will all respect, the intention of the ACPC and the surveys is to gradually iron out people who don't have the production. There are a lot of people who have make sacrifices. There a lot of cane farmers who have borrowed money from the banks and they have invested and they need time to put their production to the factory."

But for the time being, the quotas remain at status quo.

Channel 7