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Meeting held with banana growers on green financing for industry

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Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2021. 3:04 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: It is one of the steadier, if not more revenue-producing industries in Belize and the Government wants to hook up banana growers with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for financial opportunities for a business that made the country BZ$6.1 million so far this year.

Michael Espat, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment, and Dr. Osmond Martinez, CEO in the Ministry of Economic Development, hosted representatives of the Banana Growers Association (BGA), headed by Antonio Zabaneh and Eugene Zabaneh.

Leroy Martinez, economist and focal point for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), presented on the financing opportunities from the GCF and other international and regional funding agencies that can assist with climate change impacts and other identified needs. Armando Aban, senior co-operative officer and focal point for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in the Ministry of Agriculture, presented on the FAO’s role in Belize and technical and financial opportunities available to support the agriculture sector.

The meeting was as a result of a GCF readiness project that was recently launched to boost the capacity of Belize’s private sector to access climate finance for investments in climate change projects. The project is managed by government in collaboration with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) as the delivery partner that will implement the project.

Belize primarily exports bananas through European partner Fyffes to the continent.

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