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Minister of Agriculture Jose Abelardo Mai commits his ministry in assisting women to expand entrepreneurial ventures

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Posted: Friday, October 29, 2021. 5:32 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: “The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise commits today to provide technical assistance, guidance and support to expand the potential of women’s entrepreneurial ventures through capacity building, training, networking, research and development,” said Minister of Agriculture Jose Abelardo Mai on Thursday.

Mai was talking at a ceremony at the Belize Biltmore Plaza where the Ministry of Human Development (MHD), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE), the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), and the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support the Socio Economic Empowerment of Women in Belize.

“The work of all women in this country, and particularly those in rural communities, has contributed greatly to our nation’s food security, nutrition and social welfare of families and children,” said MAFSE Minister Jose Abelardo Mai at the event held at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City.

“Participating in this collaborative effort with the Ministry of Human Development, families and Indigenous People’s Affairs, BELTRAIDE and the DFC demonstrates the level of regard and interest that this government is placing to ensure that women in Belize are empowered in an inclusive, participatory and transformative process.”

MAFSE employs over 60 women in different capacities and is proud to partner with other agencies seeking to empower women and championing gender inclusivity,” said MAFSE on social media.

“Different activities aimed at ensuring gender agendas are fulfilled take place at MAFSE and will continue being a hallmark of the way Agriculture operates,” added the Agriculture Ministry.

“We recognize that although women play an important role in Belize’s agriculture and food sector, in many instances they remain underrepresented. This situation is progressively changing, and as a first step, our ministry has begun to recognize women’s participation within the sector,” noted Minister Mai.

Mai said that on occasion of International Women’s Day, a MAFSE panel discussion with partner institutions in agriculture was conducted to discuss leadership and advocacy for equal rights and inclusiveness of women and girls in the sector.

The Agriculture Minister said that through their Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC relief program), MAFSE assisted more than 2,000 registered women farmers who suffered losses as a result of the COVID-19 and the adverse climatic conditions suffered during the last two years.

Mai added that MAFSE has to continue promoting and increasing women’s participation.

“We must always seek towards equality for all so that we can foster peace and prosperity in our country,” he concluded.

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