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Prime Minister supports ostrich farming in Belize; sees economic opportunity

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Posted: Thursday, February 24, 2022. 2:29 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Prime Minister John Briceño said this week that the prospect of ostrich farming in Belize would be a good economic opportunity, provided that all the necessary precautions are put in place.

Briceño said on Wednesday that Minister of New Growth Industries Kareem Musa approves of ostrich farming and he supports Musa’s determination. He added that he has personally spoken to ostrich breeder Nancy Marin about the novel initiative, but that the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and the Department of the Environment (DOE) still need to do their due diligence for safety reasons.

“… we need to be able to hold them in an isolated area just to ensure that they are not bringing any kind of new virus or anything that can affect our poultry industry. So BAHA is right to saying and Ministry of Environment or Sustainable Development that we need to do it properly,” Briceno said. “Sometimes they drag their feet too long – they take too long to make decisions, but we are going in the right direction, but I do believe that we should give them an opportunity.”

Briceño noted that there has been an instance that a prospective breeder brought in ostriches illegally and the situation was not properly handled. He said that he personally contacted the Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management to raise an issue with the illegal ostrich breeder.

” I think some people had already brought in Ostrich without the proper documentation and that is what was so wrong, that here is a group that is trying to follow the law, trying to do it properly and then they are penalized, yet we have other people that have brought it in and the people at DOE and BAHA knew that these birds are here and did nothing about it and that is my problem that I had with Minister Habet when I was telling him – but its already here, so allow the people to come to do it and do it in a controlled environment.”

Thus far, Marin has been approved by the relevant authorities to have one male and two female ostriches on her farm, as part of an ongoing process of vetting.

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