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Belize Agro-Productive Sector Group speaks on recent rice donation to Taiwan

Taiwan’s recent donation of rice to Belize, is seemingly still making headlines nearly an entire week after, as many Belizeans are still grappling with their stance on the acceptance of the country’s “kind gesture”.  A lot has since been spilled, as various concerns are made of how this current surplus of Taiwanese rice will negatively affect our country’s local rice industry. (VO STARTS) Today, the Belize Agro-Productive Sector Group, weighed in on the issue, reiterating that the recent rice donation can be considered counterproductive, consequently leading to a negative impact on the county’s local commercial market. They replicate the concerns of many, as they ponder the thought of future importation of rice and other local produce, confirming that it if it were to become a practice, it would ensue distortion in the local market and in turn, hinder local agro producers. According to the Belize’s agro-productive sector, if Taiwan, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry responsible for supplies control, had consulted the rice industry, they would have been informed that for the past three years, Belize has had its own surplus of rice stored, along with its approaching harvest. The sector states that if consulted, it would have been revealed that consuming the country’s local premium rice would have been significantly cheaper than what it cost Taiwan to export the rice to Belize. They urge that before any donations or commodities of local products to Belize are imported, a consultation must be made to the Belize’s agro-productive sector. The sector, however, is grateful to Taiwan for its unwavering support to Belize for the Past three years, especially in its agricultural sector.