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Jul 13, 2021

Fertilizer Prices Increasing

And what about other locally produced commodities? Will prices go up? This is a real concern in the agriculture industry.  At the last House Meeting, Corozal North area rep Hugo Patt expressed concerns about the cost of fertilizers and what it would mean for the cost of production in the agricultural sector.  Today, Agriculture Minister says those concerns are valid. He says that while he hasn’t seen the increase at the store where he purchases fertilizers, he has received credible reports from importers that the prices may double and combined with the increasing cost of freight.  Mai says that can mean a cost of production for farmers and ultimately an increase in consumer prices.


Jose Abelardo Mai

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security & Enterprise

“I visited with one of the main importers of fertilizer last week and the person was telling me that we source urea from Trinidad and Tobago because it is petroleum based. They expressed to me that the price of urea had gone up twice but not only the price of urea but the ocean freight had gone up by double. And there was no logical explanation for the increase. Now those who are farmers understand that the rice producers are heavy users of urea; so obviously if that is so that the price will increase by two times there will be an increase in the cost of production. Dominium Phosphate also saw the increase by twice and that is sourced from Canada. And again ocean freight is high and it concerns me and worries me because this is the season that the cane farmers are fertilizing; this is the time corn is going into the ground and fertilizer follows behind; this is the time rice is in the field and those are heavy users of urea so it definitely concerns me.  We have to go back to our organic farming; organic fertilizers; the decomposed animal and plant material and put it back into the soil. It is not easy to say that when you have a hundred acres of sugar cane it is not easy but something has to be done. And so it worries me, really worries me.”


Andrea Polanco

“Minister, from what you are saying, are you expecting that consumers may see an increase in the prices of some of our locally produced commodities; vegetables; fruits; some grains?”


Jose Abelardo Mai

“If the price of fertilizer goes up by that amount, you will see an increase. I haven’t seen the price increased yet because I was fertilizing sugarcane last week and the price remained the same as last year when I fertilized but it could well be that in the next stock coming in we would see the increase. And the importer was telling me that they also have a concern about the availability of the U.S. dollars on the market. If one vessel would cost a million dollar U.S.  Twice that price is two million dollars and that is not an easy thing. I haven’t seen the price increased yet at the store where I bought in Orange Walk. But if the new stock comes in and the price increases then that is a serious reason to be concerned.”

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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