Last Friday saw the signing of an agreement between the Government of Belize and farmers in the north that seeks to increase the supply of sheep and thus creating an alternative for those who once made up a part of the sugar industry. The agreement is being done with a grant from the European Union and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as explained by Dr Jerome Thomas, the FAO Representative in Belize.
DR JEROME THOMAS
Some farmers who will be a part of this Sheep Value Chain Project have expressed hope and positivity in the up and coming industry.
According to Dr Thomas, there will be local and foreign consultants working with the farmers and ministry in enhancing the sector. Love News spoke with Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche who told us that the domestic demand for sheep meat exceeds production and the prices are very high. With this project it is anticipated that production will expand and the quality of meat will improve with the upgrade of the sheep. There will also be the implementation of a registry and the building of a base on which the industry can expand in order to export. This project involves sheep, honey and onions and is being done to provide farmers with alternatives to the sugar cane production. Currently, there are complementary programmes being done with the Taiwanese and the Mexicans. Alpuche says that while Belize will double production it will still not suffice the demands. Present at the event was Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Agriculture Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment & Sustainable Development, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jose Alpuche, Dr. Jerome Thomas, FAO representative for Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, Venezuelan Charge D’ Affairs His Excellency Mikel Castillo, Northern Belize farmers and other invited guests.