Minister Mai says sugar industry challenges must be solved once and for all – Love FM

The sugar harvest is well advanced in the north not without controversy and some hostility. You may remember the recent stalemate between the sugar cane planters and the BSI / ASR which necessitated the intervention of the Prime Minister. Despite ongoing deliveries, there are still many challenges within the industry which the Agriculture Ministry says need to be addressed once and for all.

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise: “The sugar industry has been, I think, in my ministry, a very difficult industry. You are dealing with 5,300 sugar cane planters, you are dealing with four associations, 1 miller in the north, 1 miller in the west, another association in the west, a few farmers in the west, 5,300 different spirits , a 40 year old probably 50 year old industry owned by the colonial people at one time, you have a 40 year old sugar industry law, so it all caused a lot of things – the disappearance of the preferential prices, the cost of production high, all this is a basic thing: the prices paid to farmers. Farmers don’t make money they will say to wait I’m not happy with what you pay me I’m not happy with your costs why do you produce more cane you should produce less cane for to be able to buy a rod and pay me more. So at the end of the day everything is a business, so just like the miller is a businessman or businessmen, so the farmer is a businessman.

Minister Mai went on to explain in today’s morning broadcast that the government hopes mediation will have to take place.

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise: “I believe the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister’s intervention was very effective, it was difficult but we managed to get along at least until the 10the July.

Ernesto Vasquez, host, The Morning Show:

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise: You Californian look at it that way, but what is important is that as the box rolls down the hill, something else is going on in the negotiations, the farmers have to define what they want. They offered new things to ASR. ASR says no it will not work but yes I agree with you and therefore the Prime Minister has said over and over again that the problem is not the price of sugar or the price of molasses. I can tell you right away what the price of sugar is on the world market in different markets – market number 11, whatever market it is next, and I can tell you how much the price of molasses is. because there are only two buyers of molasses two. What I can’t tell you is what the cost of operations is. I can’t verify, so farmers have to be very strategic in what they want. We are now in this process of modernizing the law on the sugar industry. You may have to show the farmers with latency listening what your costs are, your real costs because there are costs and then there are real costs and that needs to be addressed. some sort of verification. It might be.

Ernesto Vasquez, host, The Morning Show: But international law and international agreements do not intervene, it is a private enterprise that you do not have to open your books.

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise: This is the reason ASR said hey I don’t want to be legislated I don’t want to be regulated by the government leave me alone in the boxing ring let’s move the referee and leave the farmers in a corner and put me in the next corner. But we all know that is not the principle of this government, of this party. We have to take care of the little people. These are not the republics where the multinationals will come to abuse the little people because there is no one to protect them, this is not the case, it is the complete opposite of what we are defending. “

Rachel J. Bradford