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Feb 7, 2019

Opposition Leader Says Small Farmers Should Be Protected

Opposition Leader, John Briceño, also weighed in on the concerns raised by potato farmers in San Carlos Village. Farmers have complained that they cannot sell their locally grown, red potatoes because the local market is saturated with imported white Mexican potatoes. On Wednesday, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche, explained that permits issued in January allowed importers to bring in two hundred thousand pounds of potato which by this week should have been depleted. Briceño does not accept that explanation.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“That is a poor excuse. The Ministry of Agriculture has and if they don’t have then they would be negligent in their duties, a record of all the products that are coming to markets. They should know when and how much should be available to market and as such, they should decide whether they are going to give out permits or not. We know that a lot of politically connected cronies have been getting these licenses at the backs of our agricultural, small farmers, in this case, potatoes. I want to make real clear the new PUP government policy will be that that off protecting Belizean farmers. That when we have tomatoes there will be no importation of tomatoes like in this case potatoes or any of the vegetables that we produce. None, absolutely none will be allowed. We as a people need to eat more of what we produce and then we need to produce more of what we eat. So I want to make that very clear. I find this unacceptable. I demand that the government do an investigation as to why this continues to happen to our small farmers because we need to protect our Belizeans farmers at all times.”


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