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Belize participates in 9th Multilateral Meeting of Medfly Program Commissioners in Mexico City

Posted: Wednesday, November 8, 2023. 6:54 pm CST.

MAFSE CEO Servulo Baeza at 9th Multilateral Meeting of Medfly Program Commissioners in Mexico City – Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: As part of a regional effort to control the Mediterranean fruit fly, a major threat to agriculture worldwide, Belize was represented at the 9th Multilateral Meeting of Medfly Program Commissioners, as an honorary member, in Mexico City on Wednesday, November 8.

Belize was represented at the fruit fly meeting by CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE), Servulo Baeza, and Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) Managing Director Zoe Zetina.

Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States have been working to eradicate the Mediterranean fruit fly for over 40 years. Following up on previous agreements signed in 1975 and 1981, in 2015, the three countries signed the Moscamed Cooperative Agreement which included a memorandum of understanding with Belize.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Belize signed the 2024 Work Plan for the Cooperative Fruit Fly Control Program with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS). This document outlines the roles and responsibilities of both the USDA-APHIS and MAFSE/BAHA in implementing the Mediterranean Fruit Fly Control Program in 2024. The work plan is based on a Memorandum of Understanding between MAFSE and USDA that was signed in Washington on December 8, 1976.

The Medfly is a serious pest that can damage hundreds of types of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. It has invaded many regions around the world, such as the Mediterranean area, southern Europe, the Middle East, Western Australia, South and Central America and Hawaii. Belize has managed to keep its territory free of Medfly, thanks to the joint efforts of BAHA and its regional partners with trapping and border surveillance.

 

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