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Dec 16, 2011

BMDC’s affairs not being managed efficiently says PM

The state of affairs within the beleaguered rice industry remains a hot button issue for farmers across the country who continue to suffer major financial losses on excess tonnage of grain presently held in storage around Blue Creek. At least one producer, Uncle John’s Rice, has been forced into closure. At the center of the crisis is the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation, which is responsible for regulation and distribution and has been accused of illegally importing rice for sale on the local market.  P.M. Barrow is refuting allegations of hanky panky by the BMDC, acknowledging however, that the company is a far cry from being ran efficiently.

Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“What transpired was that the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture brought their figures and according to their figures what is happening is that theres an overproduction of rice.  Theres an oversupply of rice.  Some among the producers had leveled charges that the Belize Marketing Development Corporation [is importing rice], charges that I reject.  I made it plain that I accept that all is far from well with the BMDC and theres nothing Simon pure about the BMDC but to suggest that the BMDC is importing rice and when I say well lets go to customs they say well no, no, they are importing rice illegally.  They are contra banding rice.  Man, that strikes me as entirely far-fetched but since then everything was based on the premise from which you start and in my view their complaint that there is a problem because Marketing Board or Belize Marketing Development Corporation is flooding the market with foreign rice.  Since that is the trigger for the bulk of their complaints we agreed that let us look at the figures.  Somebody from the Ministry of Agriculture together with a representative of the group would try to do independent verification of where we are.  In any case though it turned out that the Marketing Boards board of directors had not been functioning for a while.  The new board is being appointed which includes the chairman of the Blue Creek Mennonite community.  Were putting him on the board.  I have agreed that they can suggest to me somebody whos acceptable to them that we will put inside the Marketing Board as a day to day monitor.”

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2 Responses for “BMDC’s affairs not being managed efficiently says PM”

  1. Guillermo says:

    Why isn’t the excess production being sent to other Caricom countries?

  2. huh says:

    state of affairs
    hot button issue
    hanky panky
    far cry

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