Onion Producers in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts continue to face difficulties in selling their produce and are losing thousands of dollars worth of investments. Farmers claim that the market was over saturated with onions after the Belize Marketing and Development Cooperation imported onions from Holland around the same time they began their harvests in the earlier part of this year. The BMDC however has argued that they have simply followed a calendar that coincides with the farmers’ harvest. Managing Director, Roque Mai adds that this year, one contributing factor to the problem is that farmers began harvesting their crop earlier than scheduled. And while farmers are losing almost their entire crop this year, Mai says the BMDC is also losing thousands of dollars worth of imported onions.
Roque Mai, Managing Director, BMDC
“This week I chose to write off, destroy onions from the warehouse in Orange Walk. We are destroying about 46,500 pounds of onions which we have in stock from mid February to try and give a way to farmers to sell their product. Still doing that, they have problems. The critics are saying because of BMDC they can’t sell their onions, but we are going to destroy the onions before Friday and we are going to lose between $30 to $35,000.00.”
Mai says that their imported onions are rotting while some have started sprouting making them not suitable for consumption. Mai says they may also have to destroy another forty-five thousand pounds of onions in storage at Santa Elena. In an effort to avoid a similar situation for the next crop, Mai says they are working closely with the agriculture department to work out a better system with farmers.