Six days ago Prime Minister Dean Barrow shuffled his Cabinet following the resignation of Orange Walk North Gaspar Vega as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment. Vega’s Ministries were all picked up by the Hon. Godwin Hulse who it seems has a high turn-over rate with Ministries. Some time ago, before he entered the political fray, Hulse was known as an agriculture advocate who would always say that Belize could and should grow everything it needs to feed itself. Now that he has the opportunity to put his words to action, Hulse says he will ensure that the idea of Belize becoming a breadbasket of self-sufficiency becomes a reality.

Screen_Shot_2016-10-25_at_8.20.34_PMHon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and

Sustainable Development, Immigration

“My position has been for the last forty years that this country has the potential, we used to say in the past it used to be the bread basket of the Caribbean and all sorts of statements, agriculture has tremendous potential yes we need quality products because the market is demanding on that that and this is not only foreign market we shouldn’t be producing quality products for the foreigners we should be producing it for ourselves but there has to be a process where the farmers who are engaged in this benefit from that process they have to make money or else they are not in the business, that is pure and simple, and so the principal focus would be how can we grow this, there will be times when of course we have to allow imports when we are short fall and those sort of things but that program and that process has to be workout properly so we could have a smooth relationship between from what we import and what we have domestically and I will set up to do that and as far as I am concern when I said let’s get up growing.”

According to Hulse, his focus will be to increase agriculture yields in a sector that has been badly mismanaged and poorly guided, and which has seen depreciating levels of exports and an almost total devastation of certain products such as rice and papaya.

Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and

Sustainable Development, Immigration

“This until we are very, very, very clear that if really cannot be done that we should not look at how we will go back from 3 million boxes of citrus to a once glorious figure of 10 million, there is no reason why we should be able to expand cane production properly, there is no reason why we had 6 million pounds of rice in the south and now we have 600 thousand, we should get back there and them more, there is no reason why we can’t get back in all these products, bananas etc. and get this country moving in terms of agricultural potential and development and that is what I’ll set out to do.”

But while he claims to know what it will take to improve the agriculture sector, we must point out that of recent in the sugar cane industry the problem has been milling capacity and not sugar cane production. In fact in the last crop, a significant amount of cane was left on the fields and could not be harvested for sugar production. Hulse sits as a member of the Belize Sugar Industry Board of Directors and should be aware of that. Also, while Hulse claims to know what the rice industry needs, a check into his history with the rice industry, in particular with a private company known as Big Falls in the Toledo District in the 90s, wouldn’t build so much confidence.

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