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Feb 19, 2021

The Threats to Conservation and Sustainable Farming!

Orlando Habet

Earlier this week we took you down south to Toledo where conservation and sustainable farming are co-existing. But while that’s working out for the Ya’axche Conservation Trust and the Trio Farmers Cacao Growers Association – these two groups have been facing a number of threats brought on by other groups. Minister of Sustainable Development Orlando Habet got a firsthand look at the issues.


Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction

“On the other side of the plot we noticed some fencing for an area that was de-reserved and they have taken over the place without any documentation; any land leases; and there are some cattle ranching; some agricultural production not in a sustainable fashion and not taking care of the ecosystem and what we want to do with the preservation of biodiversity.”


Andrea Polanco

“Now, in what way can you ministry support them to address some of those issues, minister?”


Orlando Habet

“Well, a concern is that if they are going to be certified to produce organic cacao which fetches a premium price, because they are not mass producers this means this has to go into nice markets where they can get these premium prices. So, we have to assist them to maintain and keep that organic certification. So, we will have to have conversations with the Ministry of Agriculture to inform these other producers on the other side and train them so that they can use other organic forms – without using the pesticides and herbicides they use in their farming system. But possibly, most importantly is to address it through the Ministry of Natural Resources which is responsible for lands so that the people who are possibly squatting on these lands can have some form of legality to the lands but what is also important is there has to be a buffer zone which would prevent some of these nuisances like the chemicals being flown down by the wind into the area that is organic and then these people would lose their certification because of this.”

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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