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Agricultural stakeholders assess vegetable production

SourceDayne Guy

BELMOPAN, Wed. Nov. 17, 2021 — On Wednesday, November 17, a National Vegetable Stakeholders meeting was held at the Agriculture and Trade Showgrounds in Belmopan to assess the current status of countrywide crop production for the upcoming production season in order to see how closely the current yield is aligned with harvest projections.

A large portion of the discussions was centered on import-sensitive crops such as lettuce, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower. There are projections of a significant increase in the production of these crops in the upcoming planting season. The attendees outlined a projected overproduction of carrots. The year 2020-2021 saw carrot harvests from a 122-acre plot; the ensuing year will see production almost double, as the plot size will increase to 212 acres, a marked 74% increase.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise will devise a number of new strategies to successfully utilize the surplus carrots from this unusually productive carrot harvest. The ministry will streamline the process chain — allowing for more distribution channels between farmers and buyers. In addition, the ministry will continue to suspend import permits, as well as initiate value-adding and processing procedures for the produce.
At the event, the Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise, Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai, encouraged the farmers and government officials to continue collaborating to improve the quality, and expand the supply, of food available to the country. In response, the farmers and middlemen in attendance committed to enhancing the product availability, quality, and pricing for consumers and the Belizean market.

A release from the Government of Belize Press Office encourages the general public to continue to support local producers. It stated, “The Ministry of Agriculture continues to collaborate with its stakeholders and continues to champion its hallmark policy of supporting locally produced commodities through its “Buy Local” campaign.”

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