Tonight, there is disruption in the 2019/2020 sugar cane season, which has been put on pause until further notice. The recent heavy rains affecting the entire country has caused the cane fields to become inundated with floodwaters. That is causing excessively muddy cane to enter BSI's Tower Hill Factory, which is threatening to damage their equipment. Since the heavy rains started during the weekend, that excess mud has since increased to 4 times the recommended amount that the millers can allow their equipment to directly interact with. And so, representatives from the different stakeholder groups in the industry met and took the difficult decision to cease all cane deliveries, as of yesterday morning, until the weather improves. Forecasters believe that the heavy rains should stop by this weekend.
But, it appears that this decision to pause deliveries was clearly not clearly communicated to those thousands of cane farmers in Corozal and Orange Walk. And so, they started cueing up in long lines of trucks as per normal.
BSI says that in order to accommodate these farmers, they still took in 5,000 tonnes more cane than they intended yesterday. That's because the millers are well aware that the farmers are currently struggling with significantly reduced crop yields, caused by 2 consecutive years of drought. But, by the afternoon, the mud situation was getting worse, and so, the millers decided to stop all deliveries. BSI had to close off their entrance, and the cops were called in, just to ensure that there would be no disturbance of the peace.