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Belize and Mexico held a bilateral working meeting in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico, on Thursday, July 8, 2021, led by Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, and his Mexican counterpart, Victor Manuel Villalobos Arambula, Secretary of Agriculture.

The meeting focused on partnership, cooperation and agreements between both countries and included discussions on technical topics such as agriculture, livestock, and aquaculture. The delegation discussed and agreed on cooperation in areas including livestock inspection, importation requirements, surveillance and genetics improvement; technical assistance for small farmers with various cash crops, including soursop, coconut, citrus and soybean; support for training and technical expertise to the Belize Agricultural Health Authority; facilitating agriculture extension personnel in areas such as field research, agro-processing and integrated crop and pest management; sharing of information by both countries on topography, soil mapping and climatology; and technical assistance in aquaculture management practices.

Both Minister Mai and Secretary Villalobos deemed the event a great success. They made a firm commitment to use the occasion as a starting point for future bilateral meetings and greater cooperation in agriculture between the two countries.

Secretary Villalobos stressed the fact that both countries are neighbours with a long history of amicable relations, noting the intention of the President of Mexico and his government to forge even closer ties with regional partners and good neighbours like Belize. For his part, Minister Mai expressed gratitude to the Government of Mexico for the initiative of creating an opportunity where both agriculture ministries could meet and conveyed his thanks for the assistance Mexico will provide Belize in many different areas.

Also present for the meeting were H.E. Martha Zamarripa Rivas, Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, agriculture officials and representatives from other related ministries of both countries.

High-level government officials and industry stakeholders from Belize and Mexico were this week engaged in intense discussions, focused on trade and agriculture partnerships for mutual benefit. The meeting was held in Chetumal, Quintana Roo on July 8, 2021, and the Government Press Office was there to capture contributions from both sides in agriculture, livestock and aquaculture.