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Apr 27, 2011

Marketing Board’s Dutch onions are going up in smoke

Last week we reported on the onion crisis in the two northern districts. Thousands of acres of onion fields, some nine hundred thousand pounds of the vegetable are rotting and farmers who invested substantially are at breaking point. Their financial losses are tremendous and many who turned to lending institutions are now facing burdensome loan payments. They have been having a hard time selling the onions because as we told you last week, the Belize Marketing Development Corporation, also known as Marketing Board, in February imported about sixty five thousand pounds from Holland which are being warehoused in substandard facilities in Orange Walk and Santa Elena. But the Dutch onions have also been spoiling and earlier this week, more than forty six thousand pounds stored in Orange Walk were destroyed, it’s a loss of up to thirty-five thousand dollars. There is also word that another forty five thousand pounds of the Dutch onions in a warehouse in Santa Elena, will similarly be destroyed. The glut brought down the price of onions for the consumers, but has resulted in the heavy losses to the farmers and now the BMDC. So what went wrong? The farmers say that BMDC imported onions just as they were about to harvest while the marketing board says the farmers harvested earlier than scheduled. If that sounds confusing, then get this; more onions will have to be imported later in the year because of the current spoilage.

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19 Responses for “Marketing Board’s Dutch onions are going up in smoke”

  1. Gustav says:

    Apparently there are plenty of onions AND incompetence to go around.

  2. george alamilla says:

    Does any of this sounds familiar.If it doesn’t>How about incompetence and stupidity and bureaucratic
    nearsightedness at its worse.

  3. beemtheman says:

    yes play a blame game ,idiots.
    stupit idiots ,waste a money like that….

  4. Elgin Martinez says:

    Who are these no brainers that are being appointed as our leaders?Why would somone with commom sense import a product that is been produced in the Jewel in abundance?

  5. ivan cal says:

    now who will pay the onion farmer’s losses? BMDC or Belize Marketing Board will not of course,there needs to be more communication between Ministry of Agriculture,BMB, GOB, with any farmers in Belize so that this error does not OCCUR again.

  6. Owresident says:


  7. Tiredbelizean says:

    It is funny!!! We have some incompetent and illiterate business personnel managing all of this…….now see the result!!!!

  8. mustard says:

    There will also be a glut of something, Belizean farmers need to learn to let the onions mature more, most of the local onions i have seen for sale are immature and small, being an old farmer from years ago, they are picking alot of the crops to early, they need to learn to diversify, and, the farmers need to work along with the marketing board, they need to work together.

  9. Tiredbelizean says:

    It is the result of incompetence and illiteracy from the managerial level!!!

  10. daveyt says:

    The CEO of the Marketing Board should be made to pay for the cost of the imported onions, then fired for incompetence. This man couldn’t run a bath, let alone a high profile Marketing Board…..

  11. Sugar says:

    typical GOB at work….Minister issues permit to his lackeys, lackey brings in onion and sells to BMDC, farmers get screwed, onions are destroyed at GOB’s expense and misister and lackeys laugh all the way to the bank……where is the police who are looking for bad-eggs in southside?? hahah….bad-egg thiefs are in Belmopan

  12. daveyt says:

    Of course, the buzz on the streets is that the CEO has family in Holland, who surprise, surprise are in the export business! This will never be proved, he’ll never be made to pay for his ‘mistake’, and the wheels will keep turning. Those in power get richer, the rest will suffer. But that’s democracy – Belizean style!

  13. Mr. Agric says:

    The Managing Director of BMDC is a journalist. He knows nothing about agriculture and marketing. His running BMDC at such a senior position due to political loyalty. He is not qualified for such a position. In Belize we need to get serious about development and start utilizing trained individuals in such positions. There are many incompetent people in position because the Minister put them there. This is counterproductive to our continued development.

  14. Carlos Cal says:

    The price of onion here in PG is still rocket high and we have onions decaying in the north. Why?

  15. unbiased says:

    i totally agree with Mr Agric this is what happens when ministers appoint their friends and relatives to positions that they are not qualified for and placing them in managerial position . so many unemployed people with qualification are out there that had to go to school for so many years and these idiots come and get the best opportunities and it happens in all government departments Belize will never get anywhere with these political appointees.

  16. Mr,Minister says:

    let me say this its a shame and disgrace of all what is happening her and you no why because the poor people are victims of lies ,Mr.Roque Mai no very well the honest truth of why his onions are spoiling,because BMDC is owned by minister Montero son and Montero owns ministry of its obvious that the poor farmers are suffering now because Roque Mai and the minister knew that the local onions were already in harvest but like how they are the boss they didnt care and went ahead and ordered the onions inspite of the local,they told the farmers that no one will stop them from importing you no why because they wanted the farmers to give them the onions and when they do sell it they would pay the farmers but because they never pay the farmers didnt trust them and thats why they brought in 3 containers of 65,000 lbs onions from Holland.Thats is not all what the roque minister does he gives his cronies the importation of potatoes carrots cabbage and BMDC is the sole importer for onions and Mr.Rene canto the sole importer for garlic hold it down the importation of potatoes never stoped some Jack Charles have been granted to him by minister Montero and Contreras to bring 40 tons on a monthly basis,what if you people taught that PUP was bad uno look at these gready vindictive incompetent ones what will happen to us the poor people and it makes no sense you go to PM waste a time because he no wat d happenministry of agriculture and BMDC is owned by Montero and Sabala

  17. Earl Grey says:


    WHERE’S MY BOWL OF ESCABECHE???????????????

  18. fromafar says:

    easy, find out who the import company is, and find out who the owners are, who the board of directors are etc… its all public knowledge. Thing is, same ole same ole a gwaan, u done know. And it will keep on happening until there is a body of people who are competent and independent enough to watch the governments every move. Unfrotunately that’s whats needed. I would bet my life that this is happening every day, and we only find out when something goes wrong, or somebody complains.

    The bottom line is that we should be importing only that which our local producers cannot provide.

  19. advocate says:

    Incompetence at the highest level in the Marketing Board. Taxpayers money gone up in smoke. Will Minister Montero do the right thing and fire Roque Mai immediately (maybe just ease him out to save face as he does not have to make it public – however he chooses to do it – MAI MUST MOVE) or will he wait for the Prime Minister and Cabinet to instruct him to remove Mai thereby also saving the thousands of dollars in fuel (not to mention vehicle cost of which he is now on the third vehicle) paid by the market board for Mai’s daily commute between his house in Santa Elena Cayo and the office in Belize City. The time to get this one right is now!!! Let’s see if Montero will now do the Honorable thing and RAPIDLY REMOVE ROQUE .

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