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Apr 28, 2017

U.B. Prez Talks Up Agriculture Ahead of N.A.T.S. 2017

Thousands of Belizeans will be heading to the Capital City on Saturday and Sunday for the annual National Agriculture and Trade Show. Since it started back in 1970, “Agric” has grown from year to year. While for many years the focus was on the agriculture industry, in the last decade or two it has expanded to include the commercial trade of manufactured goods. But whether you go to the ‘show grounds’ for the phone deals or the cheap alcohol, you can bet that you will be seeing the best of Belize’s agriculture on display. The show grounds opened today in Belmopan and the guest speaker for the event is the U.B.’s new President Professor Clement Sankat. When we spoke with him today he explained why he believes Agriculture can position Belize for stronger sustainable development.

 

Clement Sankat

Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, President, UB

“I will essentially be speaking on the importance of food and agriculture in building competitiveness in Belize in enhancing food and nutrition, security in the creation of wealth. I will also be appealing for all of those who are in power and authority to lend much more support to the food and agricultural sector; to help build our rural communities and the infrastructure; to support our farmers because I think in doing this Belize’s exports will increase; there will be much more income available to our farmers; much more commerce circulating especially in rural communities; but that agriculture also is not only about production in the field. Agricultures is about business; agri-business; from the production of foods on the field to the transportation of food or the crops; to the processing and storing of the crops; to the conversion of basic commodities to process foods – whether they are jams, jellies, pepper sauce, rice flour, corn flour – you name them – that agri-business and the marketing of agricultural products are absolutely important for success; that agriculture must be seen as an integrated industry and students must not only see agriculture as only the production of food but there are many roles. In food science, food technology, the processing of foods, the marketing and distribution of foods- it can become and it should become one of the biggest if not the greatest element for Belize’s sustainable development and I think this is what gives Belize an edge with many Caribbean countries. I will also say how satisfied I am to see that Belize consumes much more of the food that is on its plate than many other Caribbean countries. I am very proud of that pleased to see how Belizeans grow what they eat and also of course eat what they should be growing.”

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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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