BSI, the Belize Sugar Industries is at a crossroads. The 2011 crop is over - and it underperformed; they were 250,000 thousand tones short of cane delivered producing just under one hundred thousand tons of sugar when as much as 118 thousand tons were projected.

So it was not a great year in terms of production, but overall quality was at a record high and a significant improvement in the cane price is expected to come out next week.

But that doesn't change the fact that BSI has to pay the ING Group $30 million US dollars by September of this year.

And that's where investor Banco Atlantida comes in with a proposal for a debt for equity swap.

Of course, it's not that simple; the big question is whose equity will get swapped?

The employees' trust owns 82% of BSI. We today asked the Prime Minister if that majority holding will have to be sold out to give way to the Banco Atlantida bailout. Here's what he had to say about an intricate, complex situation...

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
Banco Atlantida won't put in their 90 million US, except they get certain legislative changes, and I have to be sure that the farmers are prepared to accept those legislative changes. We had a meeting - what was it - a week an a half ago, and we agreed that I should invite Banco Atlantido to come now, and to talk to the farmers directly in my presence. That meeting has been fixed for 2 0'clock. I expect to get through with the House business by then, on Friday. That meeting is fixed for 2 o'clock in the Cabinet Room in Belmopan."

Jules Vasquez
"Is it a fact that this is the only way forward with this crop having under-performed, and with the present difficulties with ING and I think First Caribbean as well?"

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"I don't see any other way, quite frankly, I don't. I got to just leave it at that. We clearly need - BSI on its own - forget for a minute the 30 million dollars that's owed - the 30 million US dollars that's owed, that ING has called in. Even if you leave that aside, going forward, BSI needs capital injection by way of operating capital. They need to make certain repairs to the factory. Let me just summerize it in that way. BSI needs operating capital. If you both have to repay a 30 million US dollar loan, and get additional funds to take you forward, clearly this - at Banco Atlantida, interest is something that, in my view, must be looked at in every seriousness. And if there is any way we can come to an agree so that the 90 million US dollars can be invested in the sugar industry, we ought to come to that."

Jules Vasquez
"So the Employees' Trust's hands are being held to the fire?"

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"I don't know the Employee's Trust, because I haven't spoken to them, but I believe objectively that's perhaps not the happiest way of putting it, but I think it's the truths. What are we going to do? If the employees were to say, 'You know what, we don't want to see Banco Atlantida to take a majority stake in the factory, how are we going to go forward? But Government..."

Jules Vasquez
"They'll ask for the Government bail-out."

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"But Government, lord man, we came up with 10 million dollars last year. To come up with not just 60 million more to pay off ING, 60 million plus another 30 that Banco Atlantida is talking about - or perhaps 40 - no we can't find 100 million dollars. Much as we would like to, we don't have it. And so, I think all of us must recognize what the reality of the situation is, and to deal with Banco Atlantida."

Channel 7