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Ministry of Agriculture denounces “libelous” statements made by UDP

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2024. 4:03 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise issued a statement saying that it “views with concern the irresponsible, baseless and libelous statements being made by a UDP press release and social media posts. 

The content in the press release and posts makes unfounded and false allegations about import permits and prices for carrots, the ‘Marketing Board’, the Minister of Agriculture and the Ministry itself, that seek to undermine the hard work that is being done in the agriculture sector, particularly by the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise,” the Ministry said. 

The Ministry clarified that: 

  1. Import permits for carrots have not been issued since November of 2023.
  2. Belize Agricultural Health Authority Market Surveillance has determined that contraband vegetables are not affecting the market at present. This is because of the increase in BAHA surveillance efforts and the heightened military presence on both sides of the border to control illegal activities.
  3. All carrots on the market right now are Belizean in origin. Present market conditions indicate that the Orange Walk, Corozal and Cayo District are engaging in harvesting and thus, there is a temporary situation of market saturation where prices are low because of high supply. This should eventually adjust favourably for farmers.
  4. Present production cycle overlaps are due to a prolonged dry spell and unseasonal rains in June-December 2023. These two factors have affected planting of carrots in late 2023 and early 2024. This has caused some districts to harvest at the same time as others, creating atemporary market oversupply

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise reminds the public that it carries out periodical meetings to work with farmers on issues like climate change advice, market condition data and planting cycle programming Belizean products have high priority, and we will make every effort to assist our farmers to ensure their viability and success.

In addition, the Ministry warned the public to be on the lookout for false information and rumours with malicious intent and to turn to accredited sources of information only for their facts.

 

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