Posted: Saturday, April 24, 2021. 7:23 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belize’s vegetable production is topping $50 million this year said Міnіѕtеr оf Аgrісulturе, Fооd Ѕесurіtу, аnd Еntеrрrіѕе Јоѕе Аbеlаrdо Маі speaking during the Budget Debate at the House of Representatives on Friday at Independence Hill in Belmopan.
“For the first time in many years, the farmers were able to market their product well. The production of potatoes and onions was well organized, properly scheduled and our government has managed to control the illegal importation well,” Mai said.
This year’s potatoes are the biggest income earner for vegetable farmers, with a total of $44.8 million. This year’s production is 4.8 million pounds from a total of 240 acres under cultivation.
Onions are bringing in $3.04 million in income. A total of 101 acres are being cultivated to the tune of 3.03 million pounds of onions.
Income from carrots is at $2.44 million from 121 acres being cultivated producing a total of 1.45 million pounds.
Mai said the income generated from head lettuce is about $750,000. A total of 373,600 pounds produced from 18.68 acres under cultivation.
Minister Mai said that the Agriculture Ministry is protecting the local producers by not allowing import permits as long as Belizean products are on the market.
“This action has led to farmers being able to market potatoes, onions, and carrots at a decent price, making a profit and at the same time making it affordable to the Belizean consumer,” Mai said.
“Only when we are certain that our farmers cannot supply a product, will we authorize importation. And that is the policy of the Ministry of Agriculture,” Mai added. “We first and foremost safeguard the interests of our farmers and their families. They ought to be treated with respect and dignity.”
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