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Ministry of Agriculture slams UDP claims on carrot imports as “Baseless and Libelous”

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2024. 6:06 am CST.

By Horace Palacio: The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise has issued a strong rebuttal against recent allegations made by the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) regarding the importation and pricing of carrots in Belize. The ministry described the claims as “irresponsible, baseless, and libelous” in a press release issued on Tuesday.

The UDP’s allegations, disseminated through a press release and social media posts, suggested impropriety in the issuance of carrot import permits and accused the ministry of contributing to unfair market conditions for local farmers. However, the Ministry of Agriculture has categorically denied these claims, providing evidence to support its position.

“No import permits for carrots have been issued since November 2023,” the ministry stated, emphasizing that all carrots currently available in the Belizean market are of local origin. The ministry further clarified that the recent dip in carrot prices is not due to imports, but rather a temporary oversupply caused by overlapping harvest cycles in several districts. This overlap was attributed to unusual weather patterns in late 2023 and early 2024, which disrupted the normal planting schedule.

The ministry also highlighted the increased efforts of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and the military in curbing the illegal importation of vegetables, ensuring that contraband produce is not currently impacting the market.

The Ministry of Agriculture concluded its statement by urging the public to rely on credible sources of information and reiterated its commitment to supporting Belizean farmers through various initiatives, including regular meetings to discuss market conditions and planting cycles.

The ministry’s Director of Communications, Luis Pook, is available for further comment and can be reached at [email protected] or 822-2241.

 

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