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Sep 25, 2023

Belize and El Salvador to Begin Food Trade

El Salvador’s Minister of Agriculture Oscar Enrique Guardado is in Belize, along with a technical team, on a two-day working visit and will be touring selected farms in the country. The minister’s visit comes on the heels of a recent trip that Minister of Agriculture Jose Abelardo Mai made to El Salvador a few weeks ago.  The purpose of that visit was to look at products that El Salvador is marketing and to express interest in the possibility of trading some of our goods with them. Out of the discussions came a suggestion that the two countries sign a technical cooperation agreement that would enable technical teams from Belize and El Salvador to travel and learn from each other practices that have worked. As part of the tour today, one of the stops was at TKO Farms in Teakettle Village, which produces sour sap bi-products. News Five’s Marion Ali was there and filed this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

These are some of the products that TKO Farms in Teakettle Village, Cayo produces and quite possibly products that El Salvador might begin to import from us. Their Minister of Agriculture, Oscar Guardado is in Belize today and Tuesday to tour various farms that produces agriculture products and bi-products. Minister of Agriculture, Jose Abelardo Mai says that Belize can benefit much from this arrangement.


Jose Abelardo Mai

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture

“El Salvador imports much of their food, and the global trade changes every now and again. For example, El Salvador imports a lot of meats from Nicaragua, but Nicaragua now is focusing on the European market. So they are concerned of who supplies them with meats. Belize is blessed in a sense that most of the things that we eat daily, the rice, the beans, the chicken, the egg, the vegetable is grown here. El Salvador is saying, can you sell us rice? Guatemala has asked the same thing. And I believe we can. We can. We have the farmers, we have the land, we have the expertise, right? So, this is what they’re looking at. Can we sell them the red small beans that they consume? Can we sell them the white corn that they want? They want white corn and yellow corn.”


El Salvador also has interest in our sour sap products, Mai said. But key to all of this is an agreement for trade and technical cooperation.


Jose Abelardo Mai

“There are many things that we know that they don’t, and there are many things that we don’t know, and we can share the technology, the knowledge, the experience with that country.”

The visiting Minister, Oscar Guardado told us through El Salvador’s Director of the National School of Agriculture, Odette Varela, who doubled as his translator today that they also extend their assistance to another of our ministries.


Oscar Guardado

Oscar Guardado, Minister of Agriculture, El Salvador (Translator)

“Belizeans, the technicians, at least the agricultural sector can come to El Salvador and have that exchange of knowledge. Also, we had a meeting with the Vice Minister, Tanya Santos, talking about the development that we have in El Salvador in terms of indigenous people and also women. What can El Salvador exchange with Belize with the experiences and which models are in El Salvador that have been successful and they can be implemented here.”


The two countries are looking to have the agreement signed by the end of this year. 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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