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#251939 10/05/07 10:27 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Corn. It's what's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a lot of Belizeans, but a sudden and steep increase in its price may force you to change your menu. The price of a pound of corn tortilla and masa dramatically increased yesterday and today we found out why and how it will affect you. Keith Swift reports.
Keith Swift Reporting,
This sign in front of the Tortilleria Maya Factory on West Canal says it all: as of October 1st - which was yesterday - the price of a pound of tortilla jumped to $1.50 while masa is now one dollar per pound. Tortilleria Maya is the city's biggest and dominant tortilla factory. Thomas Cal is the supervisor.
Thomas Cal, Tortelleria Maya
"The price increased because the price of the corn went up. The Mennonites corn went up because the corn is scarce and that is why the tortilla has to go up. Everything is expensive - kerosene and everything is going up and that is why the boss said we have to take our price up."
The jump to $1.50 is a 30 cent increase and if you think it won't affect you, just think of all the things you eat that are made from corn. And perhaps tacos are on the top of that list. It's what for breakfast for a lot of Belizeans. Right now you get 3 corn tacos for a dollar but Arvy Cowo whose been selling tacos at the Pound Yard Bridge for more than 20 years says the increase in the price of tortilla is putting a squeeze on her bottom line.
Arvy Cowo, Taco Vendor
"$1.50 a pound, I think that is too much. The people don't want to buy the taco for 50 cents. Right now it's three for a dollar and chicken has gone up, orange has gone up, everything is going up. We still continue to sell it so and we have to give a little of meat to sell the same thing for a dollar. And the people sometimes say it is a little of meat. I don't know, maybe we will have to continue to sell it so or 50 cents each because that is too much."
The increase in corn price is also putting the squeeze on Melina Lemus. She sells tamales for a dollar and ducunu for 50 cents on Albert Street. That's the best deal in town but she is considering a price increase.

Melina Lemus, Food Vendor
"It gaan up a lot of people like tamales for a dollar. When I tell them it is two for dollars they say what, they want it for a dollar."
You should also prepare to pay more at the El Paso Fast Food Shop on Freetown Road. They are famous for fried tacos but that too could increase.
Nancy Ulloa, El Paso
"Everything with flour went up because flour gaan up, beans gaan up, the cheese which used to be $25 is now $35."
Keith Swift,
So now like how tortilla gone up, maybe things made with corn will go up?
Nancy Ulloa,
"Yes."

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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World Wheat, Corn, and Rice Production, 2003 (Courtesy FAO)


Maize
Belize 11,975(hectacres) 33,580(metric tons 2.80(yield MT/HA)

Costa Rica 6,880 11,700 1.70
Honduras 342,000 501,859 1.47
Guatemala 603,000 1,053,560 1.75

Other interesting Stats type pages
http://www.nationmaster.com/red/country/bh-belize/agr-agriculture&all=1

According to this report, the export value of 'Maize' from Bze is up and the import is down as trend from 2001 through 2005. This report only show $ value, not tonnage.
Lots of other interesting stats here.

http://www.intracen.org/tradstat/sitc3-3d/ir084.htm

The top right corner of the page - you switch from import/export

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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from a friend

the Mennonites started importing GM corn from the US (Spanish
Lookout) in large amounts fall of 2006.

GM corn was so cheap then -- they decided better to import than grow good corn here.

I believe the same happened in Mexico??

Then -- wouldn't you know it -- the price of US GM corn went way up -- and of course -- Belize (Mexico) was no longer planting so much -- so ya -- we got whacked -- and good!!

I lost my crop to hurricane Dean -- so did the Mennonites here to the North


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