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PUP supports agro-productive sector

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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020. 1:15 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Opposition, People’s United Party (PUP) issued a statement today expressing their support for Belize’s agro productive sector.

The PUP says that the COVID-19 epidemic is causing suffering to all Belizeans and though the full extent is not yet known, it is estimated that the contraction will be between 20 to 25% of GDP.

“This is a time when governments need to act decisively to mitigate the economic hardship caused to many of the poorest in our society and to protect the agro-productive sector who safeguards our food security. The agro-productive sector is today suffering not only from the economic impairment caused by the restrictive measures taken to limit the spread of the epidemic but also from a drought that started last year which is projected to continue into this year,” the PUP noted.

The PUP says that the government can ensure that the sector continues to produce and sell its goods to ensure its very survival.

The PUP further states that agriculture production is the only sector that can provide food security for Belizeans.

“It is the only medium the country presently has to generate much needed foreign exchange at this critical juncture and one of the sources of employment in the country at this time,” the statement noted.

The PUP listed the following recommendations made to the government:

  1. Government re-opens the export of livestock through the Bullet Tree area immediately, while simultaneously engaging the Guatemalan authorities in formalizing the livestock export industry. .
  2. Government bulk buys from producers to ease the challenges of storage and at the same time, provide cash flow for producers/processors to re-invest in the next production cycle and so, continue to provide food for the country.

The PUP also warned that failure to act decisively will:

  1. Reduce foreign exchange earnings.
  2. Further pose a dangerous threat to food security.
  3. Increase the unemployment rate.
  4. Reduce household income.

“We urge the Government to heed the cry of the agro-productive sector in acknowledging and acting on the offer recently sent to the Prime Minister. It is not only economically sensible, but it is imperative for our survival as a nation,” the statement expressed.

 

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