Onion Farmers from across the Northern region today gathered at the ITVET conference room in Corozal Town for an important meeting with members of the Ministry of Agriculture. In an interview with District Coordinator of the Ministry, Barry Palacio, one of the main aspects discussed was the planning of the 2014-2015 onion crop season.


Screen_Shot_2014-12-23_at_8.01.16_PMBarry Palacio - Coordinator MOA

“The main objective of this meeting is to plan the 2014/2015 Onion crop in that all stakeholders, Farmers and Agriculture Department along with Belize Marketing and Development Corporation we join hands on what will be the 2014/2015 Onion crop especially when it will begin so that it gives BMDC time to plan as to when will be the cut off time for the importation of Onions by doing so imported Onions will not compete with locally produce Onions, farmers will have the opportunity to market their produce without competition from imported Onions.”

The 2014 – 2015 onion crop season is schedule to commence sometime in late January. Palacio says one of the strategies being implemented is the sale of locally produced onions and such the Belize Marketing Development Corporation (BMDC) has been asked to minimize their imports of onions from other sources, giving preference to the locally produced onions.

Barry Palacio - Coordinator MOA

“We had representation from Little Belize, we had representation from San Carlos from Orange Walk and along with farmers of the Corozal District we all came together to look at the 2014/2015 Onion crop and as it is based on the information share today locally produce Onions will start from the latter half of January 2015 so that it gives BMDC a cut off time for them to stop the importation of Onions so that locally produce Onions can be sold, at this meeting we also shared with the farmers basic information and as such we are asking their cooperation to share the information and as it is we believe that we have started it and it can only get better farmers need to share information as to the variety and date of planting and based on that we have an estimated time of harvest.”

Victor Castillo – Reporter

“Bearing in mind that farmers in particular and those that deal with a lot of Onion exportation and importation national wise now and then now encounter themselves with difficulties or hiccups on their way on their final destination and you are mentioning that you are assisting the farmers with an application for them to move the Onions within the country freely and not having the situation whereby Customs can get involve and see while this is imported or locally?”

Barry Palacio - Coordinator MOA

“We, Customs Department, BAHA, the cooperative Department jointly with the Agriculture Department, the police department and the idea were to share the information that we have.  We have a farmer’s data base which we share with these department so that reroute to Belize City especially where we have different check points along the way, the information that the police in Corozal has and all the different government departments would be the same information in Belize city.”

Applications can be obtained at the office of Ministry of Agriculture.  Over 35 Onion farmers and stakeholders attended the meeting today.

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