Posted: Friday, September 2, 2022. 9:55 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: The Ministry of Investment visited two agro-processing facilities in southern Belize this week, in an effort to learn what kind of support the sector needs.
The ministry’s team, which included Narda Garcia, Chief Executive Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister and Investment, and several officers in the ministry’s Investment Policy and Compliance Unit visited Marie Sharps Fine Foods and Silk Grass Farms, and spoke with their managers to gain insights on the iudustry.
Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods was the first stop on the tour, where the ministry learned that the company, which is already exporting to the USA, Canada, Japan, and Germany, has made investments in the range of US$4 million to increase its output capacity from 70 bottles per minute to 200 bottles per minute. According to the company hot pepper production has increased from 236,000 pounds in 2019 to 642,000 pounds in 2021, while production for 2022 is projected at 710,000 pounds. This tripling of production is for new markets coming online with some of the first orders being taken from South America.
Silk Grass Farms, located near Silk Grass Village, Stann Creek District, is Belize’s newest agro-processing facility, and was the second stop on the tour. The ministry’s team met with investors and discussed the current situation and plans for the facility.
“Silk Grass Farms is investing $60 million in the production and value addition of coconut products such as coconut oil, coconut water, coconut milk and other by-products. This new factory was conceived, designed and built by Belizean technicians who have sourced the best processing equipment available,” the ministry said.
This facility, which employs over 200 workers is also set to begin processing fruits and vegetables into various value-added products.
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