Last night, wA.S.R. /B.S.I. announced its third and final payment to sugar cane farmers for the 2021/2022 sugar crop. As was reported, farmers received a final permanent of thirteen dollars and thirty-three cents for every ton of sugar cane delivered. That final payment, according to A.S.R./B.S.I., is based on a final cane price of seventy dollars and seventy-eight cents. A.S.R. /B.S.I. noted that this is the highest cane price payment since 2017 when the EU market change removed Belize's preferential pricing. Today, we asked the Minister of Agriculture, who is also a cane farmer, for his comments on the payout. Here is what he told us.

Jose Mai, Minister of Agriculture.

"It is much better than years before. It could be even better yet in my view. I am always concerned for the payment farmers get. As a matter of fact the price today to the farmers is because of the world market. But, if we didn't have those high cost of production and of milling, it could be even more. So, whatever price we get in Belize I am always concerned because there will always room for improvement, always. If I am happy, of course I am who would not? I work hard for my money. We sacrificed a lot in the cane fields. If it could be better, it could, if the high cost could be managed better. I think this year the farmers would have made a little profit this year, but when you look at the high cost today you have to really look at what we are doing. And, it depends on your yield. If you have good yields you would be better off. But, again I tell you, the price is better for the farmers today because of the world market. It would be better if the cost could be managed better."

Channel 5