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Feb 23, 2023

Minister of Agriculture Prioritizes Rural Women in Agriculture During SICA Pro-tempore Presidency

Women who engage in agriculture are poised to be prioritized during the next three months that Minister of Agriculture, Jose Abelardo Mai holds the position of pro tem presidency of the Council of Ministers of Agriculture of SICA. Mai assumed the position in January and today he met virtually with his counterparts to discuss the work agenda set for the first semester of this year. The discussions focused on the joint work of the agricultural sector in the region and the progress on the biological inputs done in coordination with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, IICA. Closer to home, however, Mai shared what his goals are to promote Belizean agriculture. One of them has to do with women in agriculture.


Jose Abelardo Mai

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture

“Now when you look at the project they have in pipeline, there are very few projects that I noted Belize is included in. So that was my first question to them. Why is it that I do not see Belize being participant in many of the projects. So I was planning to visit the office in El Salvador to see where is it that we’re not on these projects and what can we do to get on to these projects. One is the empowerment of women in Rural Areas. There’s another one, with FAO, OIRSA as a proposed project for animal and plant health. There is another project, which is a post-COVID food security and the sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity as another project. Three of them, which were discussed and of which I believe Belize has no presence in. And so I was already asking those questions. Why are we not included and how, what do we need to do to get included. Women play a very important role in the family and agriculture, and so I was – that is the one that drew my attention. I said about how come, uh, we are not, uh, participating in this project, um, visibly, uh, I, I don’t see it. And so I, I was planning to take a visit to, to Salvador to sit down with the executive director and say how comes we’re not involved in this, and what can we do to get involved? So that one, that is one of my, um, priorities.”

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