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Ministry Refutes Claims on Carrot Imports and Prices

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise has denied allegations made by the United Democratic Party (UDP) regarding the issuance of import permits and the current market situation for carrots.

The Ministry's press release described the UDP's statements as "irresponsible, baseless, and libelous," claiming they were aimed at discrediting the Ministry's efforts and those of the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation.

According to the Ministry, no import permits for carrots have been issued since November 2023. The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) has increased surveillance, and a heightened military presence has effectively controlled contraband vegetable activities. As a result, all carrots currently available in the market are of Belizean origin.

The Ministry attributes the temporary market saturation and low prices to concurrent harvests from the Orange Walk, Corozal, and Cayo districts. This situation is expected to adjust favorably for farmers soon. Additionally, the overlap in production cycles is due to unseasonal weather patterns, including a prolonged dry spell and rains from June to December 2023, leading to simultaneous harvests.

The Ministry emphasized its ongoing efforts to support local farmers through regular meetings focusing on climate change, market data, and planting schedules. It assured the public of its commitment to prioritizing Belizean products and aiding farmers to ensure their success and viability.

The Ministry also urged the public to rely on accredited sources for accurate information.

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