From contributing to the nation's GDP to providing employment opportunities, the agriculture industry is a significant contributor to any country if the cards are played right. With a successful agricultural sector comes greater food security, increased national income, and an improved standard of living. But here in Belize there is no shying away from the fact that paramount importance is not placed on this sector. There are many shortcomings that at the end affect the industry, stakeholders and consumers.
With a vision of changing the current position the Agriculture sector finds itself in here in Belize, the Opposition is already formulating an Agriculture Development Policy framework which is being steered by Shadow Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai. According to Mai, the policy will consist of immediate and long-term strategies needed to boost the agriculture industry.
Jose Mai – PUP Shadow Minister, Ministry of Agriculture
“I have asked several people that have expertise in different areas, citrus producers, the sugar cane producers, the cattle producers to join us in this committee to help us to define in the direction we should take, we have to look at policies that we can implement in the mediate run, in the mid term and in the long run. Agriculture in this country is on the ground, we have a lot of work to do. The work begins now not when we are elected now because five years is a very short time, we lose one year and a half transition only and we can’t afford that agriculture is the bread basket that feeds this country if we don’t inject from fresh ideas, if we don’t inject capital in agriculture w will lose it and end up like the other island importing everything into our country that they consume, Belize has good farmers, great potential, hardworking farmers knowledgeable and all we need to do is to have a correct government with the right policies to move this forward and that is what we will do when we win.”
The newly formed Agriculture Development Policy Committee comprises of over ten members with expertise in various sectors of the industry.