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#277586 - 04/21/08 05:00 PM Vegetable import ban
Marty Offline
by Ray Auxillou

HON. RENE MONTERO, AGRICULTURE MINISTER, BANS IMPORTATION OF VEGETABLES INTO BELIZE
by Ray Auxillou, April 18th, 2008
The new UDP government has banned the importation of vegetables into Belize, the newspapers have announced. In a world where a food crisis is looming, Belize has become self sufficient in food production. The nation is sitting very pretty for food supplies.
In the last five years, a hydroponic vegetable farm at 25 mile, has been producing organic vegetables non-stop, for sale to restaurants and hotels over on Ambergris Caye, every week of the year, for the past four years. In Hillview, Santa Elena, FALCONVIEW BACKPACKERS ADVENTURE HOSTEL, has been producing vegetables and reaping them twice a week, for the past 16 months, in a non stop production cycle, to serve the needs of the hostel, from a small rooftop 7 ft x 14 ft space. Producing lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, mint, basil, lettuce, leaks ( thin onion ) and other vegetables.
Farmers can produce vegetables in Belize all year around. There are some things to know.

1) vegetables need daily watering

2) vegetables need soil preparation first, to be successful

3) unlike Milpa farmers working with two rainy season crops, all year round, the 52 weeks a year, requires you plan the variety you will grow. Central Farm Research Station hotline has this information.
Basically there are four types of vegetables. There are those which will grow all year long. Those that will grow all year, but go dormant during, either the heat of the summer ( April to August ) or will go dormant in the winter ( December to February ), though the plants will still live, but just not produce. There are those that need to be planted from September through March, those that need to be planted March through May and those that can be planted anytime.
The banning of imports of vegetables is expected to see temporary vegetable price rises as the economy adjusts to local production. Shortages shouldn't last more than four months. After that; as farmers learn the new technology of vegetable growing, the varieties that grow best in Belizean conditions will drop prices again through competition, by vegetable market gardening operations, by small farmers and commercial entrepreneurs. There have been vegetable farmers grossing more than half a million dollars a year locally. This year 2008, some are betting the first vegetable millionaire grower will emerge.

Milpa farmers who rely on old fashioned, two rainy seasons, slash and burn and do not wish to prepare their soils for vegetable plots, will probably be phased out, as competition from professional career vegetable farmers supply the markets in all districts, on a weekly basis.
Bread might be a problem as it is imported, but we lived in British Honduras Colonial times without imports of flour, on corn tortillas and cassava flour and banana flour. We can do it again. Bread from imported wheat with oil at $117 a barrel today is a luxury we are going to have to change probably. We can feed ourselves now, is the good story and the UDP are intent on making us do so, in this world gone mad with oil caused inflation.


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#277592 - 04/21/08 05:46 PM Re: Vegetable import ban [Re: Marty]
pedro2
What about the foods that tourists want to eat? If they're freely available in neighbouring countries but not in Belize, how long will it take before they visit those countries instead?

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#277604 - 04/21/08 06:41 PM Re: Vegetable import ban [Re: ]
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
Tourists need to eat what we produce. Belize is not known for culinary tourism. Eat what we produce please, or perhaps you may be more suited in Guatemala or Mexico.

It's about time we got back on track.

SIN
_________________________
Check out my site: www.ambergriscayerealestate.net

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#277611 - 04/21/08 07:13 PM Re: Vegetable import ban [Re: Sir Isaac Newton]
dabunk Offline
I was in the new Brodies on the northern highway a couple of months ago. We had just come from Chetumal which has great veggies and prices. Large red sweet peppers were 1 US per pound. In Brodies the same peppers were selling for 15 Bze per pound.

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#277625 - 04/21/08 08:30 PM Re: Vegetable import ban [Re: dabunk]
pedro2
You'll get some tourists who are happy to take whatever they're offered, but many others won't be. Certainly not at the prices they have to pay for everything here. They'll look elsewhere, and increasingly that is what's happening.

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#277644 - 04/21/08 11:30 PM Re: Vegetable import ban [Re: ]
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
Wow, I never imagined people would go elsewhere to find larger produce items. Like they don't have the World's largest grown vegetables (and the widest selection) in the USA and Canada.

Poor people, if they only knew our smiles and fresh caught seafood would make up for our small green bell peppers and tiny potatoes.

Oh well, their loss.

Anybody for McDonald's?
_________________________
Check out my site: www.ambergriscayerealestate.net

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#277647 - 04/21/08 11:40 PM Re: Vegetable import ban [Re: Sir Isaac Newton]
flip flop Offline
So, really....what kind of veggies are we gonna be missing out on (besides bell pepper and little pots)?

Are you saying that there's no potatoes grown in Belize?

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#277650 - 04/22/08 01:22 AM Re: Vegetable import ban [Re: flip flop]
H20dog Offline
Trade barriers for vegetables....trade barriers for beer......taking care of special interest.....how American!

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#277653 - 04/22/08 01:39 AM Re: Vegetable import ban [Re: H20dog]
ScubaLdy Offline
Actually most of the fruit and vegetables available here taste better than that grown where I moved from. Here everything is sold to eat right away - not to be shipped and stored for long periods of time. My adult daughter who would never eat cooked carrots fell in love with the ones I cook here. We call them ugly carrots as they are not grown to be pretty but to be good and good for you. After several trips here she said she could no longer eat the regular stuff sold in supermarkets and shops for the locally grown organic things available in her area.

No, you will not find a lot of food available year round Ė only in season. I can hardly wait until June when the Mangos come ripe. I saw a golf cart full of locals eating corn on the cob yesterday and I have to get me some!

If you come here and only eat what you did at home you are missing a lot. By the same token stew chicken rice and beans everyday is also short changing yourself.

I donít see this move against imports much different that how the US regulates goods and subsidizes farmers.
Enough said?
_________________________
Harriette
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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#277663 - 04/22/08 03:04 AM Re: Vegetable import ban [Re: ScubaLdy]
Hon Offline
I love the fruits and veggies in San Pedro. My only concern would be the lack of bakery goods made with wheat flour. When I'm there (granted only two weeks per year) I've always looked forward to the bread pudding from Casa Pan Dulce and, next year (because I discovered them only this year), I'll miss the cinnamon buns from the French bakery.
_________________________
Newfoundlanders are the only people in heaven who want to go home.

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