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Mar 24, 2016

OW South Rep Says Budget Has Nothing for Agro-Productive Sector

Jose Mai

A major plank of the Opposition’s debate in the House was agriculture. They pointed to situations in the papaya, shrimp, citrus, sugar and banana and put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Government. Orange Walk South Area Representative Jose Mai led the charge on that front, blaming government’s inattention and neglect on what he claims is a crisis in the agro-productive sector in Belize.

 

Jose Mai, Area Representative, Orange Walk South

“How will this budget affect our livelihoods, or living conditions? Will it be positive or negative? How will this budget affect our business? Will it grow or will it continue to shrink? The papaya people Mr. Speaker who lost employment are anxiously waiting to hear what is there in the budget that will signal the rebirth of a similar industry that will give them desperately needed employment and income. The cane farmers, Mr. Speaker, are hoping to hear that a program will be started regarding fresh injection of capital that will ensure that the industry will survive. The citrus growers are glued to their radios in their orchards hoping and listening to the announcement that the Central Bank has approved their loan so that they can get paid and that the monies will be available to replant the thousands of acres that are dying because of citrus greening disease. The shrimp producers, Mr. Speaker, are waiting for the announcement that the millions needed to start over has been approved or has been sourced and that they will be fine in revitalizing their farms. We will have to provide them with the sad news that none of what they need…none of what they could expect from a caring government will be heard today. There is nothing, nothing that has been contemplated in this budget for them.”

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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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