Since two weeks ago, the price of red kidney beans, a locally-produced commodity, skyrocketed from roughly $2.25 to as much as $3.25 per pound.
The reason is said to be the need to import the product from the United States, and that was caused by the recent flooding due to persistent rains that lasted until January.
According to the Chief Agricultural Officer, Roberto Harrison, the rains prevented the Mennonite community, which is the largest producers of red kidney beans in Belize, from planting their acreage to meet the country’s demands. As a result, beans that should have been harvested at this time will not happen. He added that there are a number of other products whose production has been affected. The onion crop, he said, was almost completely destroyed, and potato was also significantly impacted. Cabbage, to a lesser extent, was also affected. As a result, Belize will also have to import these products.
There is good news for the not-too-distant future, however, according to Harrison.
Belize should see, by the end of February, an increase in the production of red kidney beans and if farmers have a good production cycle over the next three months, Belize should once again be self-sustainable with these locally-grown products.The Reporter