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Belize seeks to have whole country certified for cattle exports to Mexico, looking for more markets in Central America beyond Guatemala

Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2022. 5:13 pm CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias:

Having exported 49,567 head of cattle to Guatemala and Mexico with a value of BZ$47,584,320.00 since September 2020, Belize is now seeking to have the whole country certified for cattle exports to Mexico and is looking for more markets in Central America beyond Guatemala.

Belize has exported 3,614 head of cattle with a total value of BZ$ 3,469,440.00 to Mexico since September 1, 2020, but those exports are only from Blue Creek and Kakabish, Shipyard, in the Orange Walk District according to Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise.

But now the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) is seeking for the Mexican Agricultural Health Authority, Senasica, to certify the other districts, particularly the Cayo District which is a big producer of cattle.

While the exports to Mexico are small in comparison to the 45,953 head of cattle exported to Guatemala from November 21, 2020, to December 2021 at a value of BZ$ 44,114,880.00, MAFSE sees an enormous market in Mexico which is by far bigger than Guatemala and could generate much higher earnings in the long run.

And MAFSE is also eyeing the rest of Central America.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Belize Livestock Producers Association (BLPA) on Saturday, February 26, 2022, Minister Mai said the objective is for Senasica to approve all of Belize for exports to Mexico. He said BAHA has formally submitted the request with all supporting documents to Senasica.

“The technical analysis is to be carried out by SENASICA and will determine if the entire country of Belize will be eligible to export cattle to Mexico,” said Minister Mai,

He said right now MAFSE is working with the interested parties in “strategic planning, implementation of policies and strategies for the short-, medium- and long-term development of the cattle industry”.

Minister Mai said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE) keeps working with the BLPA consistently providing technical support in close collaboration with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and the International Regional Agricultural Health Organization (OIRSA) in order to improve the industry and increase the exports.

“The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise supported the introduction of improved technologies with the objective to increase productivity and improve the quality of meat. A total of 110 embryos were imported from South America, 50 Bradford and 60 Brangus.”

“Additionally, the Ministry supported and facilitated the introduction of 90 purebred bulls to support the private sector in increasing productivity of their cattle herds. The bull breeds imported were Brangus, Nellore, and Guzerat.”

With increased production and better-quality cattle, Belize has got to have export markets and the government is working on that, said Minister Mai.

“Under Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade: The very first item is to negotiate a trade agreement with Mexico and Central America … It is an indication of our commitment, under the leadership of Hon. John Briceño, to the productive sector, to find new markets and to enable and facilitate trade in a formal way for the benefit of Belizean producers and the Belizean people,” Minister Mai reiterated. 


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