After a long sugar impasse that almost ruined the industry, the sugar cane harvest season, known to Norteños as “La Zafra”, will begin on Monday January 26th.
The starting date for the season was announced on Thursday in Orange Walk, after a lengthy two hour session of consultation with all stakeholders involved. It was a full house as the member stakeholders had to accommodate for two new associations- The Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association and the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association- who emerged during the splintering of the BSCFA . Also present during the announcement was the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, who still represents the majority of cane farmers in the north. Members of the Sugar Industry Control Board, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega were also present at the meeting.
After all parties settled to start the season on Monday, all parties present signed a statement of commitment to come up with a strategic development plan for the industry within a year, to address expected changes in the world sugar industry where the European Beet Sugar will be competing with the Belizean Cane Sugar in the European Market.