Belize Sugar Cane Replanting
December 9, 2010 No. 51/10-BD BELIZE SUGAR CANE REPLANTING SCHEME GETS CDB AND EU SUPPORT Sugar cane farmers in Belize will be able to benefit from a loan equivalent to ‚Ç¨1.5 million to the Government of Belize. The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has given its approval for CDB to act as a financial intermediary for the funds which are being provided by the European Union (EU). The EU resources will be channelled through CDB within the framework of an agreement between the two institutions. This financing is intended to assist with developing and administering a revolving credit facility for a sugar cane replanting scheme. Development Finance Corporation (DFC), a development bank which is wholly-owned by the Government of Belize, will be the local agency used to make loans directly to sugar cane farmers, or indirectly through approved financial institutions in the form of credits, for the exclusive purpose of sugar cane replanting. The decision by the European Union to provide this credit to sugar cane farmers is one result of an EU-financed industry review which concluded that credit for investment in rehabilitation and replanting of sugar cane fields is not readily available from existing financial institutions in Belize. Sugar industry stakeholders have identified limited access to credit and the inadequacy of a reliable technical support service as the main factors limiting the adoption of improved agronomic and management practices, at a time of increased competition and reduced prices in traditional markets. This project seeks to address these deficiencies.