Another issue in the agricultural sector is the surplus of carrots in the country which has led farmers in San Carlos Village, Orange Walk District to lose revenue. An initial release from the Ministry of Agriculture had indicated that it is caused by the contraband of the vegetable into the country. According to Agriculture Minister, this has been a recurring problem and the ministry needs the cooperation of the farmers to bring an end to the usual periods where both the imported and domestic products are on the market.
Gaspar Vega: “The beginning of local production and toward the end always a matter of oversupply, I think you have made a report where you interviewed someone at the market and we didn’t have. I don’t really get involved with that directly, it’s the Chief Agriculture Officer who maintains that and we have asked him to give us a report. However I would like to mention to everyone especially the farmers that they have to be more cooperative. We are here to ensure market not only to the big guys but to the small guys and everyone but we have to have this line of communication. You cannot have an attitude, because there are some farmers who have an attitude when you asked them how much they have planted, one of the first things they would say is that that is none of our business and these are things that affect us in the Ministry because you would be the same one asking us why we don’t have enough carrots on the market. It’s a balancing act but it’s challenging and I want to say that its not the first time. Almost every year at the beginning of production we have this situation and toward the end also because we don’t know when the local production will be finished or when it will start.”
In an interview done with Jose Abelardo Mai on January 9, he alleged that Vega was giving permits to someone closely connected to him who in turn has been sub-marketing the permit to those who are interested in importing the carrots. This is how Vega responded to the allegation.
Gaspar Vega: “I would say that’s petty and I don’t think I need to answer it.”
Reporter: Is it true?
Gaspar Vega: “No I don’t need to. I just won the elections.”
With the return of Vega into the country today, he is now Acting as Prime Minister until Prime Minister Dean Barrow returns from Guatemala on Sunday.