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Dec 11, 2015

3 Containers of Rice Awaiting Importation into Belize, Farmers Lash Out

At news time tonight, we can confirm that a total of three shipping containers en route to Belize from Guyana are presently in port at San Tomas, Guatemala.  The consignment of rice is scheduled for delivery by barge to the port at Big Creek next Thursday.  The quantity, imported by businessman Jitendra Chawla, Jack Charles as he is otherwise known, has not been green lighted by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority which is yet to issue a permit for its entry.  This afternoon, the Belize Agro-productive Sector Group which is comprised of farmers from across the country, issued a release condemning the attempt to introduce imported rice into the local market.  They cite many reasons why rice should not be imported. While rice brought into the country from Guyana would retail for sixty-nine cents per pound, it directly jeopardizes the livelihoods of as many as one hundred local farmers, their employees, as well as distributors.  The Agro-productive Sector questions the motive behind actively pursuing the importation of rice, despite Belize already being self-sufficient.  The cost of producing rice locally is higher than most countries; however, the price of retail is on the lower end of the spectrum by comparison with other Central American and Caribbean countries.  Government, on the other hand, stands to lose millions of dollars in revenue since business tax is paid on all inputs, including fuel, equipment, chemicals, fertilizer, et cetera.  While the issue has been discussed in Cabinet recently, a decision has reportedly been taken not to allow Guyanese rice into the country in the absence of a BAHA permit.

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2 Responses for “3 Containers of Rice Awaiting Importation into Belize, Farmers Lash Out”

  1. Marie says:

    Sounds like Chawla knew what he was doing. Because how can you order that large amount of rice without permit. People cross the border and try to bring it back and CUSTOM takes it away, IMAGINE A SHIPLOAD!!!! Hmmmmm

  2. Belizean Pride says:

    i prefer my Belizean rice so what ever the price I’ll still buy it stop the support this people that tries to kill our local producers.

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