Ministry Assures Vegetable Production to Meet Local Demand Despite Weather Challenges
Despite adverse weather conditions this year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise says that vegetable production is expected to meet local demand. The Ministry held a vegetable stakeholder meeting at the Agriculture Show Grounds in Belmopan yesterday, to speak with and hear from vegetable producers. The meeting covered topics such as the pricing of vegetables, planting schedules for various commodities such as onions, carrots, and potatoes, and the ongoing efforts to phase out the importation of certain vegetables. William Cal, Agriculture Coordinator for the Cayo district explained that western Belize has been experiencing below-average rainfall this year, which caused delays in planting for several crops. He noted that since those crops are rain-fed, projections are that the 2024 crop season will be shorter. Can stressed that even with these delays, the ministry’s estimates indicate that there is no cause for alarm.
William Can, Cayo District Agriculture Coordinator: “In terms of lettuce we will have within the fixed period we won’t be having much a problem in terms of an excess. We will have enough to supply the demand for the period that usually which will be from December all the way to March / April so we’ll have that. In terms of celery well the same things. In terms of carrots well we will have enough starting from the first week of December. So practically regardless if planting was not done early we’ll still be able to supply the demand in certain months. We are not projecting shortfalls within the crop season but if there is then we will have to see what in terms of the importation to satisfy that but as how the numbers and everything is showing is that yes we will be planting less but we will have enough to supply the demand. In terms of lettuce, carrots and all of those sometimes we do have an excess within the crop season so this year won’t be the case much but we will have enough for what the market demands require.”
Can also note that the projections are for an excess of potatoes on the market in 2024.