The sugar crop season in the northern districts is close to wrapping up and there has been a distinct lack of news from the area, which for this important industry can be considered good news. In fact, reports are that the targets set for the year in terms of tons of cane brought in and tons of sugar produced should be matched. And following the split in the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association, the smaller Progressive and Corozal Producers’ unions are working well with their larger cousin. Agriculture Minister Godwin Hulse told us on Wednesday that he hopes it may long be so.
Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture
“So far the crop looks good and I hope it continues to look good. The weather is holding and they’re poised to have a fairly good crop this year; and we are having everything, toes and fingers crossed that that is the result. There are things that will come up in the future with sugar, but remember that our position at the Ministry was simply to have everybody working together. There are three associations; there is one sugar crop; there’s a producer; there’s one mill – they have to work together. It’s one industry and it’s an industry that benefits all in the North for the most part; and the country at large. And that is the push and drive of the Ministry – we don’t believe at all in divisions; we don’t believe in criticism, crisis and confrontation and chaos. We believe in cooperation, common ground, camaraderie and communication; and that is what we are driving. And we are reasonably pleased that so far the associations seem to be working with the mill and we trust that that continues.”
The industry aimed for one hundred and forty-thousand tons of sugar to be produced from the estimated one point four million tons of cane in the fields. This is the final year of Belize’s long-standing quota for sales in the European Union.