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Apr 3, 2023

Taiwanese President Visits Sheep and Goat Project, Funded by Taiwan

Following President Tsai’s stop at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the office of the Prime Minister, and the House of Representatives, she was hosted in Belmopan to a luncheon by Governor-General, Froyla T’zalam. From there, she traveled to Central Farm, Cayo, where she toured the sheep and goat centre, a breeding project that the Republic of Taiwan funded in November of 2021.


Marion Ali, Reporting
Belize’s sheep and goat project was established in 2015. And since our Taiwanese friends began funding the project the following year, it has grown significantly, according to Minister of Agriculture Jose Abelardo Mai.

Jose Abelardo Mai

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture
“In 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture conducted an assessment and found that the sheep and goat sub-sector was suffering from poor genetics, a dilapidated infrastructure and limited capacity for the sheep and goat farmers in the country. Since then, the country has seen an increase in the production of small ruminants, improved infrastructures and enhanced capacity to farmers, thanks to the intervention of the Republic of China, Taiwan, through both phases of the sheep and goat project.”


Mai alluded to an overall boost in the agriculture industry through Belize’s diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Jose Abelardo Mai
“In the agriculture sector, we have benefited tremendously from support to specific agricultural research and development projects, agro-processing and agribusiness. This collaboration has so far played a dynamic and crucial role in helping to bring together stakeholders in the development of the agriculture sector, beginning with the development of the rice industry in the early days of our partnership.”


With an investment of over two hundred thousand dollars from Taiwan, the ministry has been able to acquire the necessary genetics, a centre for breeding the animals and the training on how to manage the industry. Project Coordinator is Andrew Mejia.

Andrew Mejia

Andrew Mejia, Coordinator, Sheep & Goat Project, Min. of Agriculture
“We imported genetics, very important – that’s the sheep and goat, we also train farmers. Our farmers thought they knew how to rear sheep. Now, they know now because of the training from the project. Also, we are teaching farmers how to cook. We have – we’re going down the value chain to ensure that you know what, they not only know to raise them, they actually know to consume them. And we have found out that, last year, the consumption of sheep and goat has actually skyrocketed. We’re actually in the process of starting to work with the supermarkets. We go to the majority supermarket, we don’t find sheep and goat meat there to as you would find pork, beef, fish, and all the other meats that Belizeans consume. Now, when you do find it, it’s expensive. So there is a lot of challenges ahead for us to get this subsector where we want it to go, but we’re making a start and this is what the Belizeans are appreciating. Now we have more butcher shops selling mutton, right? The chevon, which is a goat meat, still not as popular as we would like, but it’s growing.”


Mejia says that anyone who wants to receive training on raising sheep and goat can register at any of the agricultural departments and make the request. The Ministry also has the genetics for sale. Marion Ali 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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