LICU-SCRP – Increasing productivity and enhancing competitiveness in the sugar industry
The sugar industry in Belize receives a major boost as LICU joins the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) to deliver affordable financing to cane farmers for sugar cane replanting and ratoon maintenance through the European Commission’s AMS program me.
LICU joined this programme in January 2014 at the invitation of the Development Finance Corporation and the Government of Belize as an Approved Financial Information (AFI) with a solid track record for financing of the productive sector. At the request of the Government of Belize, the European Commission (EC) approved a non-reimbursable contribution of EURO 6,500,000 to the Caribbean Development Bank to implement a Sugar Cane Replanting Programme (SCRP) as part of the Accompanying Measures for sugar (AMS) Programme for Sugar Protocol Countries. This fund, once disbursed to eligible cane farmers, will then become a revolving facility for the sustainable financing of the SCRP.
LICU has agreed to take a credit facility for a value of BZE $2,000,000.00 for on-lending to eligible cane farmers who wish to rehabilitate and replant old sugar cane fields as well as to maintain ratoon fields. It is LICU’s objective to assist cane farmers in replanting at least 850 acres in order to increase productivity of these fields and thereby increase sugarcane production. Cane farmers can access these funds at a very competitive rate of 1% monthly on the reducing balance and for a period up to 5 years, inclusive of a one year grace period.