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Minister of Agriculture Jose Mai says Belize to collaborate with Petén, Guatemala, in technical areas

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2022. 10:00 am CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise Jose Abelardo Mai said his recent two-day visit to Petén, Guatemala, to look at areas of technical collaboration was fruitful. Belize, he said, will be collaborating with Guatemala in a number of technical areas.

Mai said he and a Ministry of Agriculture (MAFSE) delegation visited Petén, Guatemala at the invitation of the Petén Vice Minister of Agriculture Elmer Oliva Pacheco, who had visited Belize the previous month.

“We were identifying areas for technical cooperation which I found to be very interesting and very productive,” said Minister Mai.

He said he was impressed with their fruit trees program and women’s agriculture.

“I think they have tremendous advantage over us in fruit trees and that is an area in which we are collaborating,” he said.

“Secondly, another very good program I saw they have [is] a very strong female agriculture program in which they have women, young women, involved in agriculture. They have a female education officer that deals only with that sector of society and I think it’s a good program that we could mimic in Belize.”

During his visit Minister Mai made on-site visits to the Peten Fruit Tree Nursery, Livestock Production facilities, and a Tilapia Hatchery.

The discussions on areas of technical cooperation focused not only on fruit trees, but also on agro-processing and sustainable livestock development.

Minister Mai said the Guatemalans want to collaborate in agro-processing and sheep genetic improvement.

“They saw our agro-processing unit as a very good initiative. They want us to train their people to add value to their products,” said Minister Mai.

“They were very impressed with our sheep program, the genetic improvement program at Central Farm. They also want to do something further with that.”

All in all, Mai said he was satisfied with the exchange visits and looks forward to collaboration.

“I think it was a good exchange of information, exchange of ideas. And that was only the first of other meetings to come. I think we will definitely collaborate with them in these areas,” he said.

Mai was was accompanied by Chief Executive Officer Servulo Baeza; OIRSA Country Representative, Fermin Blanco; Chief Agriculture Officer, Dr. Victoriano Pascual, and technical officers from the Ministry of Agriculture.



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