Belize Secures $50 Million Grant for Sugar Industry Enhancement from Green Climate Fund

Belize Secures $50 Million Grant for Sugar Industry Enhancement from Green Climate Fund

Belize was selected among eleven countries for a fifty-million-dollar grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).  The decision was made last night in the 38th meeting of the GFC Board in Kigali, Rwanda.  The 50 million Belize dollars will be complemented by an additional 22 million from the government, all earmarked for investments in the sugar industry.  According to the CEO for Economic Development, Dr Osmond Martinez, the proposal was drafted with collaboration from the 5Cs, and the Ministry of Agriculture.  The project proposal was submitted in 2021 under the name, “Building the Adaptive Capacity of Sugarcane Farmers in Northern Belize”.

Dr.Osmond Martinez, CEO, Ministry of Economic Development: “Through 5Cs who is the accredited entity and who is the one who helped us to develop the project and who will also implement the project we were successful in developing a bankable proposal. But what is more amazing is that it’s the first big project it’s a total of $50 million Belize dollars that Belize is getting as a grant meaning Belize will not have to pay back for it and nor the cane farmers and so this is a significant milestone. The sugar cane growers in the northern part of the country will be the beneficiaries of this first project and this is just phase one of the project because at the onset about 40% of the cane farmers will be enjoying the benefit of this approval and so there is room for a second phase of the project to continue to impact the remaining farmers who will not enjoy that benefit on the first phase. The expected outcomes of the product or the grant that we’re getting is one that there should be a replanting of the sugar cane in the fields so that the cane farmers can enjoy a more resilient product and one that can withstand the impacts of climate change. Two ,is the introduction of more science and technology and number three the main outcome is to increase the yield per acre and reduce the operational costs on the fields.”

CEO Osmond Martinez explained that the sugar project is one near and dear to the Prime Minister.  So much so that PM Briceno had made a personal appeal to the GCF.  

Dr.Osmond Martinez, CEO, Ministry of Economic Development: “One of the things that I can say and I’m proud to say it is that we are doing our best to help all our citizens and this is a testament of this project. And this project I am not using this project to play politics because it was just approved last night in Kigali and everyone I would invite everyone to look at the GCF website as we speak the board of GCF is meeting this week therefore it is important to note that the development of the project started in 2021 and so it just managed to make it to the board of GCF and it’s approved so my aim of bringing it and speaking about it is because it was approved last night and it’s out of our control but at the end for me helping the most vulnerable population is above politics. This is a testament of what our Prime Minister, who gave us the mandate and who actually visited GCF and did put some pressure on GCF in saying we need these proposals to be pushed as soon as possible to the board so that our Belizean people can start to enjoy some of the GCF funds.”

A virtual signing of the grant is scheduled for tomorrow in Kigali, Rwanda.  Dr Colin Young of the 5Cs will be attending the event.  According to CEO Martinez, it is anticipated that the project will be implemented within the next two months.

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