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Jan 20, 2017

Shrimp Farming Tries to Rebound, But Difficulties Remain

Among the most disappointing performers in Belize’s “big five” line-up of exports – sugar, citrus, bananas, marine products and petroleum – is marine products and particularly the shrimp farming industry. But their problems translate from a virus that ravaged stocks. The industry tried a reboot with new genetic material, and while initially it looked promising according to unofficial data, things have once again gone sour. The Ministry of Agriculture is closely monitoring the problem and Minister Godwin Hulse said on Thursday that there are signs of a comeback.

 

Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture

“There is some promising results and there are some disappointing results as well. So I wouldn’t use the word crash. I can share with you – if I was good at this Facebook thing – some pictures of some very lovely shrimp being produced by Rainforest people. But they have small ponds that they have specially design to train, the shrimp looks excellent etc. People like Alvin Henderson is also part of that. Mike Duncker is part of that. There have been some setbacks. Alvin did export some to Mexico, but there’s been some setback which we are trying to seriously analyze. I will put this as bluntly as I can: It’s a technical problem and it requires a technical solution and so at this time BAHA and everybody else is engaged in trying to find that technical solution to the setbacks. But I wouldn’t say ‘crash.’”

Reporter

“But it’s also an economic problem, because…”

Godwin Hulse

“It’s economic, yes; but remember, at the same time it’s an industry that you want to survive, you want to go ahead. So you have to try to find a solution.”

 

Hulse mentioned that the Shrimp Growers Association looks to be unified; that is a trait he hopes crosses over to the larger industries like sugar and citrus.

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