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Dec 21, 2015

Guyana Rice Still Confiscated at Big Creek Port

Jose Alpuche

With three more days before the Christmas, the containers with three million pounds of rice will not be discharged. Jose Alpuche, the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Agriculture maintains that the importation was initiated without a phytosanitary license obtained by the importer. That’s one of the grounds for which the containers of rice are being held and there are other factors.

 

Jose Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Agriculture

“I’ll be very careful about what I say as this matter will, I believe, end up in court. But indeed you do have to obtain a license, a phytosanitary license, before bringing any product into Belize. He did not obtain the phytosanitary license and that’s one of the grounds on which the current importation is being held. Most of our importers know of the fact that Guyanese rice is out there, but most of our importers have quite frankly stayed away from it because they know that it could cause injury to domestic production. We have had this conversation, as Doctor Almendarez said, he had the conversation with the Guyanese also; we’ve had this conversation with the importer here prior to all of this happening. But he has just chosen to still bring it in. Yes, we believe that if that rice lands here, and I will say it, at the dump price at this point in time, it will injure domestic production.”

 

There has been a threat of legal action by the importer. But all day today, he hadn’t taken action. 

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