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Minister of Agriculture Jose Abelardo Mai tells citrus growers they are ‘the most important element for success’ of citrus industry’s revival

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Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2022. 11:50 am CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Despite all the financing and expertise the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise is putting together, Agriculture Minister Jose Abelardo Mai has told citrus growers that they are “…the most important element for success.”

“Let’s join hands, put our shoulders to the wheel and do the necessary work to revive the citrus industry,” added the Minister in his remarks as guest speaker at the 45th Citrus Growers Association (CGA) Annual General Meeting held at the CGA headquarters in the Stann Creek Valley on Tuesday.

Mai told the citrus farmers that despite the $15 million the government is pumping into the industry through Development Finance Corporation (DFC) financing and the experts they are getting, the industry depends on them, the farmers, 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,” he said.

Minister Mai closed his remarks to the CGA AGM saying he expected the CGA, Belize Citrus Mutual (BCM) and Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) to all work “side by side for the betterment of the industry. Differences in opinions should be gauged to help in the development of a strong sustainable industry focused on the goal at hand – a goal that looks beyond the horizon, seeing a citrus industry rise back to the glory days when citrus was king of the south.”

 

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