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Mar 9, 2023

M.O.A. Signed to Develop 5 Miles of Valley of Peace Road

Today, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed for the upgrade of several miles of road in the Valley of Peace community. The two point two million dollar initiative is being funded through the Rural Resilient Belize Project under the Ministry of Economic Development. The road project, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing, stands to benefit thousands of agro-producers in that community, improving economic activity in the area. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The ground breaking ceremony signalled the start to the rehabilitation of approximately five miles of road in the Valley of Peace community, in Cayo South. And so today’s signing of the memorandum of agreement between the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing and the Ministry of Economic Development, through the Rural Resilient Belize, is about improving the lives of that agrarian community.


Julius Espat

Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development & Housing

“We have approximately three thousand miles of roadways in the country and sometimes it seems that you’re not doing much, but we have a target that we are trying to accomplish. This is one of it. This budget is separate from what we normally have and we partner with the Ministry of Economic Development. We are service providers. We lobby with government to be able to get the necessary resources to be able to carry out work for and on behalf of the people of Belize. We’ve been doing houses as you are aware. As part of the houses, we do infrastructure to back it up. But our concentration in PlanBelize has always been rural communities and that’s a task.”


The road improvement project is similar to what was concluded several weeks ago for the Nago Bank Community in the Belize District. In the Valley of Peace area, there are over two hundred farmers who provide, through various cooperatives, millions of pounds of vegetables and fruits to the local market and by extension what we consume daily.


Osmond Martinez

Dr. Osmond Martinez, C.E.O., Ministry of Economic Development

“The people of Valley of Peace and this road will help to mobilize around million pounds of cabbage per year, eight hundred thousand pounds of tomatoes per year, almost a million pounds of sweet pepper per year; watermelon and cantaloupe around two to three hundred thousand pounds – so they are very productive. But during the rainy season, they have a lot of issues in terms of getting their products out of their farms.”


The improved road will allow farmers to access their farms and for those employed by Santander to commute to their jobs. For the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise, access to the farms and markets are among the four pillars of food security.


Jose Abelardo Mai

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture

“One of the biggest challenges that farmers face is the high cost of production, the high cost of transportation of their goods, especially if road access is very poor. The RRB project is addressing just that. So farmers will have easier access to their farms, the product will reach the market in a quicker time and of course in a most wholesome way.”


The project will cost two point two million Belize dollars.


Julius Espat

“This is about five miles of road. We are going to bring it to weh yo call paving standards so it’s the step before you pave. And that includes proper drainage, that includes putting in the necessary culverts, that includes doing the crossing the farmers use for irrigation – they have their hoses – so we will do all of that; that includes the driveways into each individual farm and it will include part of the irrigation system of where the cooperative is. So it is more than just putting in a road.”


The project is estimated to be completed in nine months. 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.

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