Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, People & Places, Regional / International » A Meeting of Cooperation in Agriculture between Belize & Guatemala
May 12, 2022

A Meeting of Cooperation in Agriculture between Belize & Guatemala

The Ministry of Agriculture is hosting a two-day workshop with its counterparts from Petén, Guatemala. The visit by Vice Minister of Agriculture for the Petén Department, who is accompanied by his technical team, will see technical expertise shared between Belize and Guatemala with the objective of implementing best practices that will boost the agro-productive industry in both countries. While it will establish linkages between both ministries for future cooperation, Agriculture Minister Jose Abelardo Mai believes that it is the start of similar trade agreements that have been recently forged between Belize and Mexico.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture

“We arrived at a very important point in the history of Belize and Mexico last week; that began with a single bilateral meeting we held in Chetumal with Secretary Villalobos and that’s how we began. This to me is one of those occasions where you begin with a single step.”


Jose Abelardo Mai

Duane Moody, Reporting

That step comes in the form of a two-day workshop that is being held between agriculture experts from Belize and Petén, Guatemala in Belmopan. Belize and Petén share similar geographic conditions and the technical meetings are intended to exchange ideas and best practices in terms of farming and cattle rearing.


Jose Abelardo Mai

“Guatemala has always been our trading partner to a lesser extent than Mexico. Much of our goods come from Guatemala; there are eighteen million people there. Much of our goods go to Guatemala too. We share similar type climate, similar culture, similar language, similar pests and disease in the agriculture sector. So their visit here is really a fact-finding mission to look at our agriculture programs, look at what we are doing, how we are doing it and look at the levels of success we are having in our agriculture programs and we want to do the same.”


While Belize will be sharing with its Guatemalan counterparts the successes and challenges in the agriculture sector, there is also much to learn from our neighbours in Petén which accounts for one-third of the cattle industry in that country which has a population of eighteen million plus people.


Elmer Oliva Pacheco

Elmer Oliva Pacheco, Petén Vice Minister of Agriculture, Guatemala [Translated]

la necesidad…. interestistucional.


“The need also to make common efforts to continue maintaining the agricultural health status of what our region wants because in the end we are under threat of possible pests that may affect our agricultural heritage in different vegetable crops but also the issue of large livestock and the issue of minor cattle. In this sense, this visit allows us to make this approach to improve this inter-institutional working relationship.”


Agriculture Minister Jose Abelardo Mai believes that a sweet potato program can be replicated in Belize.


Jose Abelardo Mai

“They are welcomed here and in the near future we will do the same, go to Guatemala and see what they are doing and how we can do it. One of the things that excites me is their program. They have a sweet potato project that they are producing and I think targeting the European market. Sweet potatoes can grow in Belize easily. I’ve seen it done in Honduras and they export to Germany and I think they are following in the steps of Honduras. I think they are to a great extent looking at what Honduras is doing and replicating it and we can do the same. That market is immense for sweet potatoes in Europe – the fresh fruit and the value added product.”


Minister Mai says that formalizing the cattle trade is on the list of things to do because Guatemala does not have a traceability program like Belize and the transfer of funds also has to be worked out. Duane Moody for News Five.

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed