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Jan 15, 2016

Gaspar Vega Denies Political Interference in Carrot Importation

From rice to carrots, the Ministry of Agriculture has had his hands full over the past few weeks.  Last Friday, we reported on farmers in San Carlos, Orange Walk who have been complaining about the loss of root vegetables in the north.  According to the growers, licenses have been granted to wholesalers in Belize City and Orange Walk to import carrots from Mexico.  Prices and overabundance, they say, have been negatively impacting the local industry.  This afternoon, Minister Vega told the media that while he does not interfere with that area of his ministry, it is an annual problem being faced at the beginning and end of every crop.  He scoffed at the notion that preferential treatment is being given to his supporters to bring in produce from across the northern border.


Gaspar Vega

Gaspar Vega, Minister of Agriculture

“I don’t really get involved with that directly, it’s the Chief Agriculture Officer who maintains that and we have asked them, meaning myself and C.E.O., to give us a report.  However, I would like to mention to everyone, especially the farmers, that they have to be more cooperative.  We’re here to assure the market, not only to the big guys but to the small guys and everyone, but we have to have this line of communication.  You cannot have an attitude because there are some farmers who have an attitude when you ask them, “how much unu got planted?”  [They respond] “dat da noh yo business.”  And these are things that affect us in the ministry because rightly you would be the same one asking us why we noh have enough carrot on the market?  So it’s a balancing act like you rightly said but it’s challenging and I want to say that it’s not the first time, almost every year at the beginning of production we have this situation and towards the end also because we don’t know when the local production will be finish or when it will start, exact figures.  It’s difficult.”



“Now the specific allegation is that you have rewarded one of your supporters with a license which he then sub-markets to people and that it is in fact this playing of political preference which has caused the imbalance in the local supply.  How do you respond to that?”


Gaspar Vega

“I would say that’s petty and I don’t think I need to answer it.”



“Is it true?”


Gaspar Vega

“No, I don’t need to.  I just won the elections.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Gaspar Vega Denies Political Interference in Carrot Importation”

  1. kriol chicken says:

    Ha! This man is so ignorant and such a $%^&*()!!!
    People, these are the kind of people we put in power! Are we proud now? All he do was win an election and that was the goal, nothing else matter. Selfish sons of ******!!!!

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