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Oct 6, 2022

U.S. Government Donates Half a Million Dollars to BAHA for Fruit Fly Eradication Program

Today, at the Belize Agricultural Health Authority Office in Belmopan, the U.S. Government handed over approximately half a million dollars towards the Fruit Fly Eradication Program. It is part of an agreement that started seven years ago and focused on financial and technical support to BAHA aimed at keeping out the very invasive and destructive Mediterranean fruit fly, which is present in Central America. Since the program started, there has not been a med fly outbreak in the country and this has helped to ensure our food security. The monies were used for the eradication program, as well as to purchase two pickup trucks for the quarantine program. Today, a brief handing over ceremony was held.


Francisco Gutierrez

Francisco Gutierrez, Technical Director, Plant Health, BAHA

“The Peten region and Belize are the front line against this pest which serves protection for the upper half of the Americas, which includes all of Belize, northern Guatemala, all of Mexico and the United States. So hence the reason that we get that level of support to be able to keep the med fly at bay, keep it in Central America and even push it back with a broader program in Guatemala as part of a tri-national program supported also by Mexico and the United States.”


Andie De Arment

Andie De Arment, Political-Economic Chief, U.S. Embassy

“Yes, we have had a formal M.O.U. for about six or seven years, but this is long term for decades. And this is one of those programs that is kinda under the radar because the whole key is to keep a problem from happening. So you can’t prove a negative. And the fact that, like you have said, that there has not been a med fly outbreak and those have been able to be contained has been so important. I am not a technical expert, but the money we provide does so many things that are behind the scenes. It’s investing in food security, it’s investing in prosperity for farmers and for our exports for Belize; it’s providing jobs for those industries and so this investment in agriculture is something that we are very proud of at the U.S. Government and I am proud that we were able to raise the funds this year.”


Jose Abelardo Mai

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

“We are grateful for the support that the U.S. has done today; they have been doing so for the last six years in terms of this bilateral agreement. Every year they give us a cheque, every year it is growing a little. This year it grew much more and I am certain that our good friend from the U.S. Government, Miss Andie De Arment, will work harder for these cheques to grow more and more every year. We are very grateful to your country for this support and we hope to continue collaborating with the U.S. Government in trying to maintain the status of a med fly free area.”

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