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Mar 1, 2019

Agriculture CEO Says Soybean is Indeed Restricted

On the Phone: Jose Alpuche

Soybean producers in Little Belize are in the red and they are desperately trying to find a new market for roughly seven million pounds of the legume which is being stored in three silos in that Mennonite community up north.  Farmers attribute the loss of sale to the importation of soybean products from neighboring Mexico.  However, Chief Executive Officer Jose Alpuche in the Ministry of Agriculture tells News Five that it is the result of competition from other Mennonite communities who are also producing soybean and processing it to soy meal.  He says that the importation of soybean is in fact restricted and proceeded to explain the dilemma being faced by farmers in the Corozal District.

 

On the phone: Jose Alpuche, CEO, Ministry of Agriculture

“Soybean itself is indeed a restricted product coming, but as I said, we scanned to see, both within the ministry and within supplies control to see if there is any importation and there is nothing of significance except for seeds.  If we’re talking about other derivatives from soy, that is in so many other products, especially food products but it’s not counted as soy.  Now I must say that there’s a far more, much bigger and far more complex problem as it relates to soy production and we are working with the farmers to try to get product out of the country.  You will recall a couple weeks ago, we, for the first time, had exported sixty-five tons of soy meal and a hundred and seventy-five metric tons of soy oil to Jamaica, simply to try and move the product beyond Belize.  So we are working to find new markets and to relieve what is in effect overproduction here.  There is a more systemic issue, you will recall that a couple months ago and up here in the Spanish Lookout area, substantial tracks of land were brought and had gone into production and there is strong competition on the domestic market and I believe that to a large extent is the significance that the farmers up in Little Belize are experiencing.  It is not from importation.”

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