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Agriculture Ministry displays Belizean products at Caribbean Week of Agriculture Trade Show in the Bahamas

Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2023. 6:19 pm CST.

Photo Credit: CARICOM

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belizean products are on exhibition at the Belize booth at the 17th Caribbean Week of Agriculture this week in Nassau, Bahamas.

Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise Jose Abelardo Mai, the Agriculture Ministry’s CEO Servulo Baeza, and a team from the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation (BMDC), led by Managing Director Valentin Carrillo, are representing Belize at the regional showcase which started on Monday, October 9, and runs until Friday, October 13.

“Minister Mai and CEO Baeza are taking part in several discussions and round tables that focus on Food Security issues of the region, and ensuring agriculture continues as a mainstay in economies of the Caribbean,” the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE) said on Tuesday.

Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise Jose Abelardo Mai (2nd from right) at the Belize booth at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture Trade and Expo Show in the Bahamas. (Photo Credit: MAFSE)

“These discussions have the participation of leaders from all over the Caribbean and over the next days they will discuss ways to mitigate pressing issues for the region.”

The BMDC, in representation of Belizean producers, has samples of several Belizean products on display at the Belize booth. MAFSE said BMDC is also “showing Caribbean nations how the entity functions as an autonomous body within the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise in Belize”.

“The BMDC has a role as the marketing arm of the Ministry and thus represents small farmers, producers and cooperatives, but also seeks opportunities for marketing Belizean products abroad,” MAFSE said.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, the BMDC has taken the initiative of looking for markets for Belizean agriculture products in El Salvador and is now doing likewise in the Caribbean.

Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise Jose Abelardo Mai at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture in the Bahamas. (Photo Credit: MAFSE)

The 17th Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) is being held live this week after a six-year hiatus under the theme ‘Accelerating Vision 25 by 2025’.

In her opening address on Monday, the Caribbean Community’s Belizean Secretary General Dr. Carla Barnett said the CWA is “one of the premier activities on the Region’s agriculture calendar”.

The CWA includes seminars, webinars and a Trade and Expo Show.

Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise Jose Abelardo Mai (3rd from left), BMDC Managing Director Valentin Carrillo (1st on left) and other members of the Belize delegation at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture Trade and Expo Show in the Bahamas. (Photo Credit: MAFSE)

According to the CARICOM Secretary General, the CWA’s Trade Show provides the forum for “increasing business-to-business engagements, and extra-regional trading opportunities for micro, small and medium, as well as large agri-businesses and services within the Region.”

Barnett said that being at the halfway point of CARICOM’s ‘25% by 2025 Initiative’, the region must now seek to empower farmers and food producers, particularly women, young people, and rural communities, while at the same time cutting CARICOM’s growing food import bill and ensuring food and nutrition security for the region’s future generations.

The Secretary General acknowledged the work put in by the various planning committees saying the collaboration “augurs well as we work together to transform our agriculture into a sustainable, productive and competitive sector, producing healthy foods for everyone.”


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