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Jun 28, 2007

Western Border will have new spray facility

Story PictureThis week, Belize became the third country in Central America to sign onto a regional initiative that should modernise our ability to fight threats to our agriculture. According to a release issued by the Government Press Office, under the auspices of OIRSA, the International Regional Organization for Health in Agriculture, on Monday Minister Vildo Marin signed a cooperation agreement with the University of Georgia. Through the partnership, Belizean lab technicians will be able to contribute samples and access an online database of insects to allow for easy and proper identification of pests. Honduras and Guatemala were the first to participate in the project but the services are being extended to the other OIRSA member countries.

Also on Monday, representatives from Belize and OIRSA officially broke ground on a new facility to sanitise vehicles crossing our Western border. Most of us have been subjected to the manual spraying programme when we visit Chetumal, Quintana Roo, but at the new Western border station, vehicles will drive through a tunnel-like structure that will spray the cars while they are in motion. The plan is to provide for efficient but effective quarantine treatment service. According to the Press Office, the double arch system will be fully funded by OIRSA in an attempt “to help member states meet the challenges of free trade agreements.” According to OIRSA officials, the charge to motorists will range from six dollars for small vehicles to twelve dollars for trucks and trailers. Construction on the one hundred and fifty thousand dollar facility is expected to begin within three weeks and completed within three months.

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