Stakeholders should review the cane-farmers’ act if they intend to do justice to cane-farming

Dear Editor,

SN’s July 16, 2014 publication of APNU’s MP Bulkan’s letter is an embarassment to author, party, and newspaper.

The last should have been the first to recognise the adventurous comment on cane farming for what it is – much less than substantive.

It would have served the MP and the press better if a proper check had been made on the validity of the statements attributed to the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce and Industry. There is the clear omission that Baynauth and Sons and other Cane Farming Cooperatives existed since the 1960s, members of the pioneering National Cane Farmers Committee, along with others in Lower Corentyne, East Bank Berbice, East Coast and East Bank Demerara, as well as on the West Bank and West Coast of Demerara. There were District Associations, the respective memberships of which were represented at the National Cane Farming Committee, together with the manufacturers’ representatives. These two groups were legally linked by a cane farmer’s contract which stipulated all the relevant conditions of the relationships between the parties, including of course how the TCTS for farmers’ cane was established by all the factories involved.

The records, faithfully kept, would show that, not only Skeldon Estate generally produced a higher TCTS than the rest of the industry, but that it was topped overall by those farmers who supplied cane to that factory. Just check with Mr Baynauth; he may even recall the name of this writer who was the official charged with coordinating the development of small cane farming in Bookers Sugar Estates in particular, and in the industry as a whole.

Unfortunately too many of the current players (the word is used advisedly) – from the top of the Ministry of Agriculture, through estate managements, to new farmers, have been substantively under-informed about the contractual relationships (benefits and obligations) between manufacturer and cane farmer, largely because appropriate attention to the National Cane Farmers’ Committee Act and Regulations (the contract) have been deliberately misapplied over the last decade or more.

Obviously the act needs updating, but it is by no means irrelevant to current circumstances. All the stakeholders – cane farmers, chambers of commerce and industry, GuySuCo management, bankers, and MPs would do well to review the legislation, if in fact the intention is to do justice to the cane farming component of the industry, without the discrimination which the current disposition allows.

Yours faithfully,
E B John

More in Letters

default placeholder

The Region Five Chairman has committed no infraction in relation to his official duties

Dear Editor, Last Thursday, July 21, the Region Five Regional Democratic Council (RDC) was once again prevented from conducting its statutory meeting.

default placeholder

Is the leader of the GPSU an employer because he sits on the Public Service Commission?

Dear Editor, I note the letter from Mr EB John – ‘GRA employees are not public servants’ – in SN of Saturday, July 23.

default placeholder

GRA employees are not public servants

Dear Editor, According to the media there appears to be a misconstruction of roles, respectively of the Chairman and Board of the Guyana Revenue Authority, and that of the President, GPSU; probably because in one instance the authors are uninformed of the Revenue Authority Act 13 of 1996, amended by 16 of 2003, Clause 2 (1) which reads as follows: “Functions of Governing Board (16 of 2003) “(1) The Governing Board shall be responsible for – “a)   subject to subsection (2) the approval and review of the policy of the Authority; “b)   the monitoring of the performance of the Authority in carrying out functions; and “(c)  the discipline and control of all members of staff of the Authority appointed under this Act.” In an apparent rush to personalise a difference of positions between the two parties much ado has been made of the quoted expressions of the Chairman, as distinct from the statutory authority of that office and the Board.

default placeholder

Fishermen from Guyana and Suriname are the ones most affected by piracy

Dear Editor, I write on behalf of the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisation, the Guyana National Fisherfolk Organisation and the Suriname Fisherfolk Organisation ‒ Visserscollectief.

default placeholder

SOCU and SARU wield a political hatchet but masquerade as law enforcement agencies

Dear Editor, Just last week, I examined the causal connection between taxation and fear and economic decline in the context of the Guyanese economy.

default placeholder

To hang or not to hang

Dear Editor, To hang or not to hang has been a topic in Guyana, the Caribbean and much of the free world for several decades.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.



Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: