Orange Walk gets marketing branch

Friday, 03 October 2008
By Adolph Lucas Jr. - Staff Reporter

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Cooperatives this week opened the third branch of its Belize Marketing Development Corporation (B.M.D.C.) in Orange Walk Town.

The B.M.D.C. formerly known as the Belize Marketing Board, has as its main function to ensure that consumers have sufficient basic food items, especially when their is a scarcity of these food items.

The B.M.D.C. says it wants to also ensure that in times of disaster consumers throughout the country can obtain the basic food items.

These food items include rice, beans, sugar, flour, onions and garlic. The corporation also plans to maintain basic food prices at a competitive level and to ensure that enough of each is available.

The new Orange Walk branch is located at 23 Lovers Lane in Orange Walk Town.

”We decided to open an office here in Orange Walk after studying the market and the demand of the people,” B.M.D.C. Managing Director Roque Mai told the Reporter this week.

He said the Corporation also studies supply trends of basic food items people need to be able to ensure competitive prices.

For example, the controlled price of rice in San Ignacio is $1.31 per pound, and Mai said that his office will ensure that the price does not stray above this mark.

There are also plans to open other branch offices of the B.M.D.C. in other parts of the country to improve government’s service to consumers.

”People had lost trust in Belize Marketing Development due to prices on some food items and it took us six months to regain this trust. So now we are providing them with excellent service,” Mai said.

The Cooperation is hopeful that by the end of the financial year, it will be able to sell products at reduced cost, Minister of Agriculture, Rene Montero, said as guest speaker at Monday’s official opening.

He took the opportunity to speak about food security and diversification.

Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega, who is the area representative for Orange Walk, spoke about the importance of his government’s move to the delivery of goods and services in a timely and least expensive way, and the importance of government’s job to ensure that its people have access to the basic food items, especially in time of natural disasters.

Live and let live