Screen_Shot_2016-01-11_at_8.13.03_PMFarmers of San Carlos Village located in Orange Walk South have lost approximately $50,000 worth in carrot production. The 15 farmers are putting the blame squarely on the Government who they say issued licenses to import carrots just days before they were ready to harvest.


By the time farmers were ready to sell their produce on December 15th 2015, the market was still saturated with the imported product making it impossible for them to sell the vegetable. The result, pounds and pounds of carrots rotting in ten carrot fields..translating to thousands of dollars in losses.


But while farmers are blaming GOB, the Ministry of Agriculture is not going down so easy. In a release issued on Friday, the Ministry stated that contraband -imports are affecting the local supply and the current problem being experienced by the carrot producers is being thoroughly examined to determine the cause, the impact and corrective measures necessary.


But according to Orange Walk South Area Representative, Jose Abelardo Mai farmers have heard that song before and this time they are not buying it and GOB should stop playing the same old political game.


Jose Abelardo Mai- Orange Walk South Area Representative


“The ministry always says they will do something, when they drag what did they said, they went out and did an assessment and they said 30 million dollars was lost and we are going to do something, what to did they do nothing they did at all.”


Reporter


“Well, they said they gave duty exemptions on irrigation equipment?”


Jose Abelardo Mai- Orange Walk South Area Representative


“The irrigation systems do no pay the allying, what they may had done is to get a GST waiver which I has already been getting from my good friend financial secretary Mr. Joe Waight so it was nothing new that was done and in regards to the carrots is not the first time happening, we have seen it with onions, we have seen it with potatoes and it is ongoing and ongoing and ongoing, the truth of the matter it is a political issue; one of the few person who has import permits for fruits and vegetables from Mexico is a very strong supporter of the Honorable Gaspar Vega a gentleman from San Antonio.”


During an interview on Friday Chief Agriculture Officer Robert Harrison admitted that the Ministry issued two licenses to import carrots in small quantities to cover the national demand until the local carrots were ready for harvest. He stated that the importation of the product should not have affected the sale of the local product.


Going back to the local producers, they are yet to receive word from Government if any assistance will be provided to them.

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