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Mar 24, 2017

Jose Mai Scorns Agriculture Ministry over Potatoes

Back to today’s budget debate….Orange Walk South area representative Jose Mai focused on the impact of the Budget – or lack thereof – on the productive sector, which he described as devastating. He excoriated the Government for neglecting the plight of farmers, focusing on the recent issue of potatoes. Mai said he found it unbelievable that the Ministry of Agriculture could be so out of touch that it would allow continued importation of potatoes while the Belizean crop was ready to go.

 

Jose Mai

Jose Mai, Area Rep., Orange Walk South

“Farmers were forced to market their product at seventy-five cents a pound, when in fact the cost is above eighty-five cents; it is easy to do a cost of production you know, easy. The Ministry had no idea what was the cost of producing potato – can you imagine that? They had no idea. And they left the farmers at the mercy of the importers – they set the price, and the Ministry said yes, you will get paid for that. How can this be, Mr. Speaker? What happened to the Policy Unit? They should have the cost of producing corn, rice, beans, everything; they didn’t know, you had to stammer… Minister Hulse said one thing; C.E.O. said something else – they didn’t know what’s the cost to produce one pound of potato! My God! How low have we gone?”

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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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