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May 19, 2014

Ministry confirms Valley of Peace crops were destroyed by herbicide

Jose Alpuche

The destruction of a sprawling acreage of farmland in Valley of Peace by crop-dusting in mid-March has resulted in a significant loss for growers in that community.  While it was initially suspected that scores of vegetables, including cabbage, tomato and pepper were destroyed by what is believed to have been a chemical compound known as Roundup, a conclusive report on samples sent abroad for testing indicates that the plants were indeed damaged by herbicide.  From the onset, the Valley of Peace Farmers Association was concerned about compensation for loss of revenue.  According to Agriculture C.E.O., Jose Alpuche, negotiations are underway between the farmers and Green Tropics to arrive at an amicable solution to the issue.

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Jose Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Agriculture

“We sent out two sets of results—one to Salvador and one to the US. The one from the US came back and of the ten samples sent, seven tested positive for glyphocene. Since then, we’ve had discussions with the parties, facilitated the discussion with the parties; they have now gone into bilateral sessions amongst themselves and they are in negotiations at this point in time.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Has Green Tropics taken any responsibility because when we spoke to them, they were saying that their tests had shown that it wasn’t, it couldn’t be that?”

 

Jose Alpuche

“I really don’t want to get into the details simply because an option for all the parties is that this matter goes to court and more than likely the ministry will be responsible for providing expert witness and I don’t want to compromise that possible need. All I can say is that they are negotiating; as a matter of fact, I believe they are in session at the moment in Belmopan and we are encouraging that discussion. We have offered that if they cannot resolve their differences amongst themselves that we will be prepared to offer further facilitation by the ministry to see if we can reach an amicable settlement to the situation.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Apart from facilitating, does the ministry have any authority to actually step in and force Green Tropics to make restitution to the farmers?”

 

Jose Alpuche

“No, we did what was required of us as in we did the tests; expert test, proper collection. It was a multi-agency visit—with the environment, with BAHA, with pesticide control board, ministry and the parties. So everything has been done above board and quite professional and we had sent them out as agreed for testing. We, however, don’t have the legal authority to force a settlement. For that reason, we hope and we believe that there is room for an amicable settlement among the parties otherwise the matter may very well have to be referred to the courts.”

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2 Responses for “Ministry confirms Valley of Peace crops were destroyed by herbicide”

  1. meandi says:

    Gee, we had to wait this long to get results? These farmers need to eat, it was OBVIOUS that the damage was caused by herbicide, it was obvious who sprayed it and now ministry cant make Green tropics pay? SO why we have a lawyers as ministers and why we cant just apply the law. If I sprayed my neighbors crops with herbicide, I must pay the damages right?

  2. Teddy Steinway says:

    They are afraid of offending the Guatemalen oligarchs who want a piece of ASR’s monopoly.

    They winced at the illegal canal from the Belize River into the jaguar preserve.

    They will giggle nervously until they starve out the Valley of Peace entrepreneurs.

    Belizean justice.

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