FARMERS SAY IMPORTS ARE KILLING THEM
Love News has heard of problems local farmers are having when they try to sell their products in local markets. One farmer said that when permits are granted for the importation of vegetables the local farmers cannot sell what they work to grow. Belize District Agricultural Officer Andrew Harrison says permits to import vegetables are given only when local production does not meet the demand.
The concerns about the importations, that's a hard thing to solve. It requires human resources and we don't have that human resources to control it. Whenever the demand is low then that is when permits are given for some commodities. I think it is only on certain commodities they are given permits to import, not all commodities. We have a shortage of cabbage at the moment and that was what was given.
But there is a possibility that these importers use their permits to bring in other products undercover right?
I'm not sure about that, there is a possibility again but I'm not sure.
What kind of monitoring is done to ensure that contraband stuff is not brought in?
Well we have the quarantine section at the border points which they do check for illegal importation and we have the checkpoints with the police on the highways.
How regular a basis are we talking?
Well the quarantine are daily, the border point, that's one of the points that are usually manned everyday.
Harrison says the permits to import vegetables are good for only eleven days. Harrison says he will meet with the farmers tomorrow.