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Livestock producers welcome waiving of import duty to Mexico

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Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2022. 3:30 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Belize Livestock Producers Association (BLPA) says it is looking forward to truly breaking into the Mexican livestock market following news that our northern neighbours will waive the 15 percent import duty on cattle imports.

Since November 2020, Belize has exported over 40,000 heads of cattle, valued at over BZ$55 million. Most of these cattle went to Guatemala, but a growing number (approximately 2,800) was formally exported to Mexico. So far in 2022, five (5) shipments, totalling 1,442 heads of cattle and valued at BZ $1.725 million in revenues, have been exported to Mexico.

Those figures are expected to rise, contributing significantly to the development of the cattle industry in Belize, further consolidating the ability of local cattle farmers to maximize their revenues and adding a second major export outlet for our cattle, joining Guatemala.

The Association hails the Government’s lobbying efforts and its collaboration with them, particularly Minister of Agriculture Jose Mai; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Eamon Courtenay and Prime Minister John Briceño.

Belize has established valued coordination and relationships between the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) and its Mexican counterpart SENASICA (the Mexican National Service for Animal Health and Agriculture Food Safety) and with Mexican company SuKarne is paying $2.10 per pound to the livestock producers. Support has also been provided by the Organización Internacional Regional de Sanidad Agropecuaria (OIRSA).

Attention now turns to streamlining the export process and reducing the costs, especially for physical cattle inspection by the Mexican veterinarians, with the expectation that the price offered to Belizean cattle farmers will increase in the short run. Cattle destined for Mexico must still be vaccinated against diseases of sanitary concern and tested for brucellosis and tuberculosis and quarantined at least 21 days before exportation, and has to be properly treated against ectoparasites.

The BLPA congratulates the livestock producers on these milestone achievements and applauds the Government of Belize, in particular the Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Prime Minister of Belize, for their outstanding and unwavering support.

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