Belize’s Self-Sufficiency in Corn Helps Control Meat Costs
Belize is among the top countries who do not have to import corn. Minister of Agriculture, Abelardo Mai, explains that we are the only country in Central America that stands in this position. He added that while there are complaints of a high cost of living, it is important to understand that costs of meat would have been significantly higher if we had to import grains.
Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture: “The countries that have to import corn for human consumption, have to import corn for animal feed, and have to import soybean for animal feed, the price of their meat is far more expensive than in Belize. Belize is the only country that does not import a single grain of corn to feed its people or its livestock. It does not import soybean to feed it’s animals, it does not import a single grain of rice. The only country in Central America and the Caribbean. So we while we have heard the public that the cost of living is high Belize is in a much better position than any country in Central America. The largest importer of corn in the region is Guatemala. The largest importer of rice in the north is Mexico. They also large import of corn too. In Central America, we are the third largest producer of soybean I think Guatemala is the first, Nicaragua I think second, we third. While we produce less than them we have no need to import. So we produce all that we consume and we have potential to export to them. So we’re in a very good position. But like I said, all is not well that is our hope. But we have to work towards it. So while we have done a lot there are still challenges out there.”