A release from the Government of Belize has announced the disbursement of relief for farmers. The relief for the farmers are coming in two forms namely cash and vouchers. The farmers eligible for this cash support include all female farmers who registered in the Belize Agriculture Information Management System between June 2018 to April 2020 as well as all male farmers cultivating 20 acres of land or less and registered in the Belize Agriculture Information Management System between June 2018 to April 2020. Our news team spoke with Minister Godwin Hulse on the disbursement of funds to the farmers and the process.
Godwin Hulse, Former Minister of Agriculture: “Its not compensation because compensation employs that you’re paying for something this is relief. This is money being given away. As you know we have approximately $8 million US dollars from the relief package from the World Bank which we’ve been negotiating for some time. It’s the most transparent program ever if I may say so myself because every farmer’s name had to be supplied, the Ministry was checked and double checked, the names were then submitted to the World Bank, Social Investment Fund is the executing agency it’s not even the Ministry per se they’re the ones who double check and double check and then it went to Heritage Bank that is preparing debit cards. Now there are two areas to this fund there is what is called the voucher and there is what is called the cash. The cash is approximately $500 Belize dollars per farmer and there are some 5,372 farmer who will benefit and particularly female farmers so they will get cash, they will get a debit card and we’re doing the cash portion first that is the mandate from the World Bank and when this is finished we’re going to do the voucher portion. So that is what is starting, it is starting this week and hopefully it will be in full gear next week. So every one of those 5,372 farmers who were registered, whose name was on the list and so will get a debate card for $500.”
Tune into tomorrow’s newscast for more news from the agricultural sector including relief for sugar cane farmers.