Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2021. 7:31 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: “Blue Creek has approximately 104 farmers and about 22,500 head of cattle. As is no surprise to anyone, that’s a lot more cattle than our small community can consume,” said Steward Dyck, Chairman of the Blue Creek Cattle Producers Association, on occasion of the visit of the Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise Jose Abelardo Mai last Friday.
“Our cattle industry is very dependent on being able to export our cattle. Within the last year with the help of the Ministry of Agriculture, BAHA, OIRSA, BLPA, Customs and many farmers, and more I might be forgetting to mention, we have legally exported 847 animals to Mexico,” Dyck added.
Dyck said he was happy to report that their cattle export industry is doing well.
“It was a giant feat and a lot of work and I am proud to work together with people in the industry who want to see the cattle industry move forward and for us to find a way to better market our cattle,” Dyck said.
Dyck said that the BCCPA is looking to growing their industry.
“Our hope is that in the future we can always have an entrepreneurial spirit and always look to new ways to grow our farms and find other markets whether that be introducing meat certification and grading system or setting up a slaughterhouse and selling boxed meat to other countries. We do not know what the future is but we look forward to it,” he said.
Dyck said that the BCCPA is appreciative of the Government for opening the market.
“I know that if we have a government that is willing to help us do whatever it takes to open those markets the cattle industry has even more opportunity to grow and become an even bigger industry.”
Dyck said leaders and ministers don’t have to do all the work, they just have to be open to new ideas, facilitate the farmers and assist wherever needed.
In praise of the Minister Mai, he said that over the years that he has known Jose, he has known him to be the type of leader/minister who ‘wows’ an idea.
“If he hears a farmer talk about a new irrigation he wants to bring on to his farm, he doesn’t ‘how’ the idea to death, he asks ‘Wow, how can I assist you?’ After the informal market was closed and because of Covid, he saw what he could do to help and assist farmers to find a market for their cattle. He worked to reopen the trade,” Dyck said.
He said that the BCCPA is continuing the exportation of cattle to the Mexican market.
“Jose Mai has been nothing short of supportive with the idea. We want to thank Jose and everyone who works in the Ministry underneath him and all the support we have received as we continue to break open this new market,” Dyck said. “Thank you for being a man with a vision and for being willing to hear out new ideas and for being excited about seeing our agricultural industry grow bigger, better and stronger in Belize.
“Every farmer that can grow his farm, produce more livestock or crops and sell them is creating more jobs and bringing more foreign exchange to the country of Belize.
“We again want to thank you for being hardworking, diligent, down to earth and who understands agriculture and takes the time to come here. We appreciate your visit and look forward to having you come again,” Dyck closed off before the BCCPA presented Minister Mai with a plaque in recognition of his collaboration.
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