...about a year ago I had the pleasure of serving a wonderful dinner here at our restaurant to one of the (then sitting) ministers of Belize. Halfway through the meal, I pointed out to him all of the things that he and his wife were enjoying that were contraband. Simulataneously funny and frustrating/sad.
For a young country that has already ammassed an impressive history of shortsighted (and goverened by self interest) decisions, this new "ban on imported vegetables certainly is ranks near the top. Do people realize here just HOW MANY vegetables are imported. And I'm not talking about "exotic" varieties, I'm talking about decent looking carrots, potatoes, avocados, mangos, etc... Do you know how often we call one of the "hydroponic supplies" applauded above to be told they are out of mint, basil, etc... There are times of the year every year when Belize is always out of white onions. The list of frustrations goes on and on...
Yes, Belize can grow a lot of produce.... Cayo is certainly blessed in that deptartment (perhaps transportation of produce out here to the Cayes is one of the hurdles the country needs to overcome?) And sure, you can produce stuff on the island... We have a small farm up north that produces plantains, habanero, basil, limes, etc (or did until hurricane Dean blew through.) Does this mean that there should be an across the board ban on imports? Hardly.
Pedro2 is dead on that tourists are going to look elsewhere... Not to slight the agriculture industry, but in case the UDP did not notice, Belize is slightly dependent upon tourism. Perhaps Honorable Montero might want to consult with the tourism sector before implementing new sweeping and total policies that will affect it.
...it's actually rather funny explaining to tourists that the avocado they are enjoying is illegal.
This ban cannot last though... and even it it does, people will work around it, just as they do now.
So I'm typing this in a restuarant running on generator because the island/country cannot keep the power on... It went out 1/2 way through our dinner service this eve... Perhaps the GOB should tackle the larger issues first (infrastructure, utilities, etc) and worry about mangos from MX and Strawberries from CA later... in the meantime, TAX the imports... heck, why not let ANYONE bring in ANYTHING they want and simply tax it, then put that $ to good use (rather than someone's pocket.)
Edited by SFJeff (04/26/08 11:39 AM)