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Apr 9, 2020

Farmers Feeling the Brunt of COVID-19

John Briceño

Farmers suffered millions of dollars in losses in 2019 due to the drought. They were barely recovering when the COVID-19 started to spread in Belize, bringing economic activity to a halt.  The farmers are again losing money and unable to export livestock across the border to Guatemala. But while borders are closed, trade continues. Hundreds of pigs are ready for slaughter and if they are not sold, the farmers will have to dispose of the animals, losing thousands of dollars. According to Opposition Leader John Briceño, the Bullet Tree Village Council continues to prevent farmers to travel through the village en route to the border to deliver their livestock.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“The problem started out when the village council from Bullet Tree decided that they did not want these trucks driving through their village because they were afraid that they were going to get sick. It is unfortunate that they made that decision because a, they are not going to get sick, b, the Livestock Association has even offered t spray the trucks so that the trucks will not be contaminated with the virus, and c,  these are Belizeans these are Belizeans trucks that just drive through the village. They drive the entire country with the cattle. It is only in Bullet Tree that they decided that they don’t these trucks with the cattle and pork or pigs to pass through. There is over six hundred pigs that are ready to slaughter that they have to sell. They have buyers across the borders and they have been prevented from selling these pigs. These famers can no longer afford to feed their pigs. So what will do? They will have to slaughter them dig a whole and bury them so that they don’t cause any kind of sickness. Some of these animals might starve to them and again the farmers are going to be losing.”


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