El Salvador’s Agriculture Minister Visits Belize, Progress on Bilateral Agreement
El Salvador’s Minister of Agriculture, Oscar Enrique Guardado Calderon, is in Belize with a delegation on a working visit. This morning, the team, accompanied by their counterparts in Belize, visited the TKO Soursop Farm in Teakettle Village, and are slated to have lunch in Spanish Lookout at this hour. After lunch, the group, led by Agriculture Minister, Jose Abelardo Mai, will be visiting grain producers and exporters, and will then move on to the Valley of Peace Farms. According to Minister Mai, the Ministry of Foreign Trade has already begun with the draft of a partial scope agreement for the two countries.
Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture: “This is a reciprocal visit from Minister Guardado of El Salvador. I think that in the past you know that we have visited El Salvador three times trying to open markets, trying to establish that relationship with them. Six million people and they import 85% of what they consume and we have 400,000 people who are strong in grain production, strong in soybean. kidney beans meats and so we’re looking at the opportunity. Also looking at technical cooperation. So today they reciprocated with their visit looking for two major things. One is technical cooperation between our researchers and educational institutions Central Farm Research Station, of course UB has a faculty of agriculture now and they’re also looking at the trade opportunities, reciprocal trade, not only what we can export to them but what they can also sell to us and this is the way trade operates. You have to export and you have to import. So if we have that relationship which we are building, then I think we are on a good footing. Minister Courtenay informs me that we are now starting to, the first round of negotiations for the partial scope agreement with El Salvador. And so today they are here to look at those two things. They want to look at the products, they want to look at the farms, they want to see the quality, they want to see the amounts that we have and so we take them to the farms today.”
Minister Mai told the media this morning that the partnership between Belize and El Salvador has the potential to progress quickly and successfully, as both countries complement each other, in terms of supply and demand.
The delegation will travel to Ayinha Farms tomorrow in the Belize River Valley to visit the farms in the area.