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Belize makes first soybean meal export to Trinidad and Tobago

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2023. 7:12 am CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belize is making its first export of soybean meal to Trinidad and Tobago, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE).

This is the first shipment of soybean meal ever to be exported from Belize.

“It’s a very new endeavour, so far,” said Lyell Banman, salesperson at Bel-Car Export and Import Company Ltd, which is exporting the soybean meal.

“This is not something we have been doing at all before, so it’s one 40-foot container and it’s almost 28 metric tons. You could say 61,500 pounds. That’s all it is at this time, but we are expecting this first export will open a new way for ‘soya’ to be exported out of Belize on a continual basis.”

Soybean meal, which is what is left after the soybean oil is extruded from soybean, is normally mixed with corn and sorghum and used as animal feed.

Banman said the soybean meal was loaded today, will be delivered to the Port of Belize, and will be shipped to Trinidad and Tobago by next week.

Banman said Bel-Car purchased the soybean meal from the Indian Creek Cooperative in the Orange Walk District.

Further exports hinge on this first export.

“The company told us that if they are satisfied with the product, it will be something they will want to keep getting from us; probably one or two containers a month,” Banman said, adding that he is looking for other markets and is pretty sure that he’ll find them.

Bel-Car already exports soybean oil to Jamaica, Guyana, and Costa Rica, so Banman said he is looking at Costa Rica and a second buyer in Trinidad and Tobago.

“Our hopes are that we can help the farmers and also help to stabilize the price of the ‘soya’”, Banman said.

Bel-Car, he said, can help stabilize the price because now farmers will have more options when selling their product; they will not be forced to sell to only one buyer.

Whole soybeans sell locally for BZ$65 per 100 pounds.

MAFSE said that with a projected surplus of 10 million pounds of soybean expected from the current soybean crop in Belize, having export market outlets is crucial at this point.

After producing a record 38 million pounds of soybean in 2021 from over 28,000 acres planted, Belize expects to produce 50 million pounds from practically the same acreage planted in 2022 due to a much better yield per acre.


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