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Agriculture sector suffers during second quarter 2020

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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2020. 7:20 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The latest data from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) says that revenues from the Primary productive sector (Agriculture) fell by $9.8 million dollars in the second quarter of 2020 when compared to the same period last year.

The SIB’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Second Quarter preliminary estimates, which were released yesterday, showed that the primary sector contracted by 12.2 percent during the second quarter of the year, from $80.6 million to $70.8 million, when compared to the same period in 2019.

Dry weather conditions between 2019 and 2020 played a major role in Sugarcane production declining by 14 percent. Deliveries of this crop dropped from 860.7 thousand metric tons in the second quarter of 2019 to 740 thousand metric tons in the second quarter of 2020. Livestock production fell considerably, (36.9 percent), with declines recorded in all major commodities within this subsector.

“A significant decline in cattle exports led to a 68.9 percent drop in cattle production over the period, while the poultry industry saw a 29.4 percent reduction in output as a result of decreased demand. Pig production declined by 16.2 percent, owing to a drop in local demand combined with the fact that there were no pig exports during the quarter,” the SIB said.

The SIB noted that, despite a strong performance by lobster tail exports, the fishing industry recorded an overall decrease of 49.1 percent, with conch exports plummeting to an 84.8 percent decline and shrimp exports fell by 63.3 percent. Despite the losses, some commodities within the agricultural sector did see some progress.

“In contrast, the banana and citrus industries both performed well during the quarter, somewhat mitigating the major reductions in other areas within the sector. Better weather conditions, which led to improved plant health and maturity, along with an increase in acreage, resulted in a 12.1 percent rise in banana production,” the SIB added.

Bananas saw its output increase from 24 thousand metric tons in the second quarter of 2019 to 26.9 thousand metric tons in the second quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, dry weather conditions caused citrus crops to mature more slowly during this year, resulting in an extended harvesting period. Consequently, citrus fruit deliveries rose slightly by 1.3 percent from 23.3 thousand metric tons in the second quarter of 2019 to 23.6 thousand metric tons in 2020.

 

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