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Cooperatives Department meets with farmers’ groups in Orange Walk, Corozal preparing to become cooperatives

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Posted: Friday, March 18, 2022. 2:33 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: “Coops Department held several visits in Orange Walk, Corozal, and the Belize District today, providing training to several groups towards registration as co-operatives and visiting for monitoring purposes,” said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise in a social media post.

Senior Coops Officer Hugo Roel Miranda visited the Orange Walk Beekeepers Group while Registrar Gareth Murillo met with the Concepcion Vegetable Farmers Group and Northern Sustainable Agro Producers Group of Xaibe. For their part, Cooperatives Department Officers conducted a Field Visit to Bomba United Farmers Cooperative in the Belize District.

“The work with them (referring to the farmers’ groups) is not new. We have been engaged with them for a couple years,” said Murillo.

The Cooperatives Registrar said the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly because of the restrictions on gatherings, slowed down the work that the Department was doing with the farmers’ groups.

“We had to pull back from the workshops with them, but since that time we have resumed the work. We have seen some renewed interest and motivation from them. So, late last year we set a target to do the registration of the cooperatives in cohorts,” Murillo explained.

Murillo said the Orange Walk Beekeepers Group, the Concepcion Vegetable Farmers Group, and Northern Sustainable Agro Producers Group of Xaibe should soon be registered as cooperatives.

“Between last year October to December, we had three registrations. We had targeted another three between January and March. Again because of Omicron and the slowdown in giving the terms of holding gatherings, we have had to push it back a little bit and we will target the registrations for April, so we’re only pushing it back about a month,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Cooperatives Department is also working with the Sayab Farms Group in San Antonio in the Cayo District with the objective of the group becoming a cooperative.

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