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Belize to harvest over 3 million pounds of onions starting January; import licenses suspended

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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2021. 5:40 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: “Local onions are scheduled to be harvested in the third week of December and available at market outlets within the first week of January,” said a press release from the National Extension Service of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE) after an onion producers meeting at the ITVET conference room in Corozal.

The meeting included onion farmers representing the Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize Districts and personnel from the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation (BMDC).

The National Extension Service said a total of 156 acres of onion are currently planted in the Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize Districts.

“The expected harvest months will range from December to April which is expected to yield approximately 3,122,400 pounds,” said the statement.

As a result, import licenses for yellow, white, and purple onions were temporarily suspended on the advice of the National Extension Service.

The meeting in Corozal was to revise and validate the number of acres under cultivation and the projected production data for the 2021-2022 onion crop cycle. The meeting headed by the National Extension Service included onion farmers from the Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize Districts, and personnel from the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation (BMDC).

The National Extension Service said they have a follow-up meeting with the onion producers and the Vegetable Interdiction Unit on Wednesday, December 22, at the Yo Creek Agriculture Station in Orange Walk.

The Vegetable Interdiction Unit is comprised of officials from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), Customs, the Police’s Mobile Interdiction Team (MIT), the Belize Defence Force (BDF) and the respective Police divisions.

According to the National Extension Service, the Vegetable Interdiction Unit “was established to mitigate against contraband and similar illegal activities that threaten the quality, availability, phytosanitary measures and price of local vegetable commodities”.

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