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Feb 13, 2019

Barton Creek Potato Farmers Planted Wisely

Jose Abelardo Mai

The last license for imported potatoes was issued on January eleventh for two hundred thousand pounds and the final date which those potatoes could have been brought into the country was on January twenty-second, ahead of the start of local production.  Nonetheless, Mai’s issue is not only with the importation schedule, he is equally concerned about what will be done with the excess supply of the root vegetable.  He is challenging the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation, otherwise known as the Marketing Board, to step up to the plate and find sales for the surplus potatoes.

 

Jose Abelardo Mai, Area Rep., Orange Walk South

“So while you cannot stop anybody from planting, you can guide them and say, “Listen, three hundred and forty-eight acres is too much potato to plant.”

 

Reporter

“But the farmer wants to plant what they think [they can produce.]”

 

Jose Abelardo Mai

“Yes, so he needs to be guided, right.  Somebody told me that the Barton Creek farmers plant half acre for each farmer and they come out last, but they have the ability to store their half-acre of potatoes.  So when somebody plants six, seven, twelve acres then where is the technical advice.  It is the responsibility of the technicians to advise the farmer, to say, “Sir, we believe you are planting too much potatoes, we will have a bumper crop and you may lose.”  I think the farmers in Barton Creek are a little more smarter, they said, “I prefer to have half-acre and make money than have ten acres and lose all of it.  Thinking outside of the box, why don’t we put the [Belize] Marketing and Development Corporation to work?  They are a marketing agency.  There are only three suppliers of potatoes to Belize, they live in Chetumal.  Why can’t we approach them and say to them, we have bought potatoes from you for fifty years, why can’t you buy potatoes from us for two months?”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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