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Aug 27, 2020

Farmers to Receive COVID Relief in the Agriculture Sector

The agro-productive sector is getting some much needed COVID relief from the Ministry of Agriculture.  A sum of sixteen million dollars will be made available by the end of September for small and medium farmers in the form of cash vouchers to purchase items such as seeds and fertilizer.  The relief aid will also benefit farmers in the north who were severely affected by the devastating drought in 2019.  While the assistance may be somewhat belated for farmers who needed help last year, G.O.B. has managed to secure a loan from the World Bank for eight million U.S. dollars.  According to Minister Godwin Hulse, special emphasis is being made to assist female farmers.


Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture

“Our ministry is very, very pleased to announce that we have finally concluded negotiations with the World Bank for sixteen million Belize dollars of loan funds to provide relief to farmers who are impacted and affected by market contraction caused by COVID-19.  Those who suffered losses from the prolonged drought of 2019 and additionally, the ministry will provide assistance to vegetable farmers to improve the post harvest handling of products and provide financial support that is cash transfer to all female farmers.  And I will say, if we had an audience I am certain they would be clapping for this because there are 2,052 female farmers who will, each one, receive five hundred dollars in assistance, that is to encourage and promote the women in agriculture.  As you know, females, in many cases, are heads of households and the backbone of our food and nutrition.  We do have a female Farmer of the Year and so we included in this relief every single female farmer that is registered on our BAIMS list.  IN addition to that, we will be providing this cash transfer to 5,372 farmers totally, of which the 2,052 are a part and those are farmers with farms smaller than twenty acres down.  That is how we are doing it, this is a cash transfer.”

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