Belize, for the first time ever, has exported rice to Europe. The Ministry of Agriculture says that a container load of 56 thousand pounds of milled organic rice, valued at 42 thousand Belize dollars, was sent to France last week. The initiative came through efforts by the Ministry, along with the Belize Marketing Development Corporation, and Beltex, which is a Texas-based company trading in Belizean products. The Marketing Development Corporation says the goal is to export about 500 tons of rice to Europe. Organic rice is grown without the addition of pesticides and other chemicals. There is a growing demand in Europe and other parts of the world for organic products. Organic rice production started out only two years ago in the Toledo District, and already there are 35 farmers in that district growing organic rice, with a foresight of even more farmers doing so.