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Citrus Growers Association thanks government for supporting rebirth of citrus industry

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Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2022. 1:15 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Ministry of Agriculture

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) chairman Eccleston Irving thanked the Government of Belize for “committing the support and assistance of Cabinet to the rebirth of the Citrus Industry”, said a press release by the CGA.

Eccleston made the remark at the 45th CGA Annual General Meeting held at the CGA headquarters on the Stann Creek Valley Road on Tuesday.

Six members of the Cabinet were present at the meeting, including guest speaker, Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise.

The CGA release said that despite early unfavorable weather, members of the Citrus Growers’ Association packed the three tents at the CGA to attend the 45th AGM.

The CGA statement said Minister Mai “made it abundantly clear that the Government, recognizing the importance of the Citrus Industry to the economy of this nation, will spare no effort to ensure the industry’s viability”.

Minister Mai told the citrus growers that the success of the industry depends on their success. The Government is pumping $15 million into the industry through DFC financing but it depends on them being willing to put “your collective will to make an ailing industry that has been damaged by citrus greening and other ‘tsunamis’, survive”.

“You have to make the right decisions on your farms, improve your farm yields, manage citrus greening with better nutrition and good agricultural practices, replant with the tolerant varieties, diversify into some of the fruits that CPBL and other processors intend to process, work closely with all growers’ associations and most importantly, stop the infighting in the industry,” Mai said.

The CGA returned the Committee of Management to serve for another term.

According to the press release, the CGA AGM gave “overwhelming majority support” to two resolutions, one dealing with the purchase of shares in Citrus Products of Belize Limited owned by Banks Holdings Limited and the second dealing with the sale of shares owned by Belize Citrus Growers Association Investment Company Limited to Homeland Investments Ltd.

The CGA release said both resolutions “brought a breath of new hope to growers”.

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