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Jan 28, 2000

Vegetable smugglers given warning

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Co-operatives is issuing a reminder to the public that vegetable importation is being monitored. The Ministry has restricted the importation of carrots, potatoes, cabbages, sweet peppers and tomatoes to guarantee a local market for farmers. However, it seems that some people are still smuggling these vegetables from neighboring countries and local producers are facing unfair competition. The Ministry is advising vendors that The Belize Marketing Board buys all the local produce from our farmers and market vendors should only buy their produce from the board. The Belize Marketing Board will issue a receipt to the vendors upon the purchase and this must be presented to Quarantine Inspectors whenever requested. Failure to do so will indicate that the produce was not purchased from The Belize Marketing Board, therefore making it a possible illegal importation. The produce can be confiscated under the Plant Protection Act.

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