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Oct 15, 2021

Rice Industry Revival in Southern Belize

We also asked CEO Shal about the rebound the rice industry in Southern Belize is currently experiencing. Recent images show truck loads of rice being transported from villages in Southern Belize to the rice mill in Big Falls. It’s a promising sign for an industry that CEO Shal says has been neglected for the last decade.


Valentino Shal

Valentino Shal, CEO, Rural Development

“The rice industry, unfortunately for the last decade or so has been on decline. It has been really neglected. The last Ministry of Agriculture paid no attention to this industry. It is a very important industry. It is possible. There is land. The people are willing to work. But, there is no support for the farmers. So, we have the devastating economic effect of COVID. We also see agriculture as a key part of rural development. Without agriculture development, it is very difficult to have rural development. So, we felt that here is something that is already there. The people know how to grow and plant rice. We still have the rice mill in Big Falls, so let us go back and revive it. So that is what we did in March, with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture. And, the marketing board in Big Falls also helped to spread the word, to encourage farmers to plant rice. The people responded. I am quite amazed at the number of villages who have restarted planting rice. So far we have had three or four villages that have called us for assistance. So, through the assistance of the Ministry of Infrastructural Development we have been able to help them deliver their rice to the rice mill in Big Falls.”

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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