After almost a year of hard work and dedication the 9 women groups involved in the soy sauce project finally got to see their product bottled and being marketed. The project is being carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture and the ROC Technical Mission.
Rene Montero – Minister of Agriculture
“This soy sauce project was initiated in the year 2010 and has a total cost of $110,000.00 US over a four year period. This venture started with a group of very dedicated and active women in Orange Walk District and was extended shortly thereafter to the Corozal District where other women were given the opportunity to participate in this invaluable project. This included some 100 women from each district. The Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the ROC provided technical expertise for its implementation and its success. The participants were trained on the successful production of soy sauce in all its stages on a very small scale. This will give rise to many opportunities that will not only benefit the women however we expect that the men will be supporting their women in this project.”
By the end of the fourth year Belize should be importing 50% less soy sauce products than it does today.
Charles Bacab - National Agro Processing Coordinator
“We import about 500,000 pounds of soy sauce and we consume everything. We are in the process of producing at least10,000 pounds right now of the final product but we are supposed to increase it to cover at least 50% of the importation, that is about 250,000 pounds in the next four years.”
Over the next few months market research will be carried out to determine the products potential on the local market. If the project is successful, a micro loan program will be introduced by the Taiwan Government to provide financing for the establishment of a soy sauce production facility. In the mean time the women will continue to receive training in Food handling, standards, quality assurance, food safety, business management, basic accounting and entrepreneurship.