Partnership Between Belize and Mexico to Benefit Hundreds of Farmers
Hundreds of farmers will be benefiting from a partnership between Belize’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation. The project has been in the planning and logistical stage for the past year, and had come about following the visit of Mexican President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in May 2022. The project mirrors one currently underway in Mexico, and is dubbed Sembrando Vida Belize. The official launch of the event took place this morning at the Yo Creek Agriculture Station, Orange Walk District. Minister Abelardo Mai spoke on the project, saying that not only will the farmers benefit from the six million dollars, but they will also be a part of Belize’s transition into a friendlier environment way of farming.
Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture: “Today what you saw was the first farmers getting their debit card for which the project will deposit in their account the monies that they will get monthly. But besides that there are a lot of bio inputs that will be given to the farmers. I say bio inputs because the Sembrando Vida focuses on environmentally friendly practices moving away from chemical fertilizers and heavy strong agrochemicals now and moving over to bio inputs is the focus of this program and so we’re seeing that today totally the project is about $3 million US dollars $6 million Belize dollars which will be given in cash and part inputs to the farmer so I think it’s going to take us a long way and it’s really focusing on what we are now really concerned about which is environmentally friendly practices. It seeks to conserve the environment, it seeks to reclaim agriculture lands doing the practices and so I think it is something that is a good place to start and certainly the ministry will capitalize on it definitely.”
Also speaking to the media, was Laura Elena Carrillo Cubillas, the Executive Director of the Mexican Agency. According to Cubillas, this project will have to match the one in Mexico in order to have the same outcomes.
DRA. Laura Elena Carrillo, Executive Director, AMEXCID: “We started back home. Actually we have millions and millions of beneficiaries so we can say that our pilot program was back home and we’ve been working on it for four years now and President Lopez Obrador wanted to share what we have learned in this program with other countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador but last year he visited himself and so Prime Minister Johnny Briceno told him you know what we should have Sembrando Vida here in Belize. And so the President told us here at AMEXCID to just go ahead and do it. We have 2,000 beneficiaries by now and it’s so important because what we’re trying to do is not only get together for a nice ceremony and then not see each other again forever no we do want to be here and you’re gonna be able to see that our team is gonna be working close to the people, we want to share what we know and we want to make sure that everybody has a chance to develop in their own country, in their own land and that we can work together and be stronger. We need to be stronger as a region. We can do so much when we get together and that’s what President Lopez Obrador and the Mexican people are keen on doing here.”